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Surname Cagney - Meaning and Origin

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Cagney: What does the surname Cagney mean?

Cagney is an Irish surname of Norman origin. It is derived from the original French phrase “Cagne” which is derived from the Latin word “Cannicius” meaning “dog-like.” This surname was likely adopted by the Cagney family after the invasion of Ireland by the Normans in 1169.

The Cagney surname is most closely associated with theNamesake of renowned American Hollywood actor James Cagney. This surname has been prominent throughout America, particularly in Irish-American families, and in the entertainment business.

The meaning of the name Cagney is quite literal in its association with the canine family, but it also carries a certain mystique and sense of character and determination— traits that have endeared it to its many admirers. This last name is associated with toughness, strength, loyalty, and pride.

In the entertainment business, the Cagney name connotes recognition and success. It is a name associated with skill and artistry. In addition, there is an element of sophistication that the name carries.

The Cagney family line has continued to prosper in the entertainment industry and beyond. With a history of strength, loyalty, and determination, the Cagney name will continue to influence current and future generations.

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Cagney: Where does the name Cagney come from?

The surname Cagney is generally of Irish origin and is found predominantly in Ireland and the United States. It derives from an Irish Gaelic surname which was originally written as MacAnGhobhnaigh – ‘son of Anghabhnaigh’ – from the personal name Anghabhnaigh. The Cagney surname came into use around the 17th century and was popularized by James Cagney (1899-1986), an American film actor whose portfolio included gangster and musicals roles.

In the United States, the Cagney surname is mostly concentrated in New York and Pennsylvania, but can also be found in California, Minnesota, Massachusetts, Arizona and elsewhere. In Ireland, the Cagney surname is mostly found in Dublin and around north-eastern parts of the country.

Since the dawn of the internet age, people with the Cagney surname have been easier to find. Family trees can now be shared across the world, and Cagney families are connecting with their distant relatives online. It's estimated that in the United States alone, there are around 6,000 people with the Cagney surname.

The Cagney legacy lives on through different parts of the world. It is a common name in its home countries of Ireland and the United States, and is in use in other countries too. It’s likely that as time progresses, and families look to reunite and reconnect, the name Cagney will become even more commonplace.

Variations of the surname Cagney

The surname Cagney has several variants and spellings that have the same origin.

The most common spellings are Cagney, Caheny, Caingy, Cagny, Kagnee, Cagie, Caigey, Cageney, Cainey, and Caigee.

Variants include Caigne, Cainge, Caine, Caigny, Cageny, Cagne, Ciceni, Cagneux, Kagney, Caingy, and Kaigney.

Surnames of the same origin include Gagné, Cagneux, Chainy, Gagnew, Gagain, Gainey, Cagnon, and Kaigne.

Each of these spellings and surnames, regardless of their variations, originate from Gaelic-Irish and date back to the sixteenth century. The name Cagney is thought to be derived from the Gaelic-Irish names “Mac Ceithearnaigh” and “Mac Aonghusa” which mean “son of Ceithin” and “son of Angus” respectively.

The original Cagney families were mostly found in County Galway and County Donegal and were closely associated with the O’Connor family.

The Cagney name has spread across many countries and continents since, and it is currently seen throughout the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom.

Famous people with the name Cagney

  • James Cagney: He was a multi-talented actor, dancer, and singer. The American Film Institute ranked him 8th among its list of greatest male stars of classic Hollywood Cinema.
  • Billy Cagney: He is best known for his role as Tommy ‘TG’ Gunn in the 1996 crime drama Clockers.
  • Sean Cagney: He is an American actor, best known for his lead role in the 1990s crime drama, Out for Justice.
  • Richard Cagney: He is an Australian actor, famous for his role in the 1989 television series “E-Street”.
  • Jenna Cagney: She is an American television actress, famous for her role in the crime drama “Bones”.
  • Charles Cagney: He is an American producer, best known for producing the 2018 TV series The Kominsky Method.
  • Christian Cagney: He is an American actor, best known for playing the role of Uncle Tom in the 2018 crime drama series Emerald City.
  • Kevin Cagney: He is an American actor and writer, best known for his role in the 2006 comedy-drama series My Name is Earl.
  • Charles Cagney Jr.: He was an American actor, best known as a leading man in the 1948 film Just Before Dawn.
  • Marjorie Cagney: She is an American author and screenwriter, best known for co-writing the 1996 comedy film Hackers.

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