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Surname Cunningham - Meaning and Origin

all surnames with 'C'

Cunningham: What does the surname Cunningham mean?

The last name Cunningham is of Scottish origin, derived from 'Cuinneagàn', meaning "rabbit" or "coney" in Gaelic. The name is also associated with a place in Ayrshire, Scotland, known as Cunningham. The place was named after a 12th century figure, Hugh de Morville, who was granted the land of Cunningham after demonstrating loyalty to the Scottish king, David I. The term 'Cunningham' was used to imply a geographical reference, denoting a person living or working in this region. Over time, it became a surname passed down through generations. Overall, the surname Cunningham reflects a blend of personal, geographical, and occupational significance rooted in Scottish history and culture.

Cunningham: Where does the name Cunningham come from?

The last name Cunningham originates from Scotland, specifically from the district of Cunningham in North Ayrshire. It derives from the Gaelic "Cuinneagàn,” meaning “little rabbit”. This name was given to a family who held an ancient barony in that district dating back to the 12th century. The Cunningham family has been associated with many important historical events in Scotland and have had strong ties with the Scottish monarchy. Moreover, the Cunninghams played significant roles both in the Scottish Reformation and in fighting during the Wars of Scottish Independence.

Today, the Cunningham surname is common across Ireland, Scotland, England, America, Canada, and Australia. In Ireland, the name was primarily established in Ulster, following the Plantation schemes from Scotland in the 17th century. In the United States, the name is most common in the states of Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York. Meanwhile, in Scotland, concentrations of Cunninghams can be found mainly in Glasgow City, North Lanarkshire, and South Lanarkshire. And in England, the name is frequent in Merseyside, Greater Manchester, and West Midlands.

Variations of the surname Cunningham

The surname Cunningham has Scottish origins and is associated with the district of the same name in Ayrshire, Scotland. It is derived from the Gaelic components "cinn", which means "head" or "chief", and "cuing", meaning "milk pail". As such, it is thought to denote someone who lived near the chief's milk pail, suggesting a dairy farming background.

There are several spellings and variants of the surname. Some of the more common spellings include Cuningham, Coningham, Cunnyngham, and Cuninghame. In some cases, the "c" may be replaced with a "k", resulting in such spellings as Kunningham or Kinnyngham. Double ‘n’ is also common (Cunninngham). Some other variations of this surname are Cunningam, Conyngham, and Kuningham.

Moreover, there are a number of other surnames that are potentially related to Cunningham, either through linguistic similarities or through shared geographical origins. These might include names such as Kinman, Kingman, and Cunnighame.

Please note that variations in the spelling of surnames were quite common until the nineteenth century, due to reasons such as illiteracy, different dialects and languages, and the lack of standardized spelling rules.

Famous people with the name Cunningham

  • Randall Cunningham: Former NFL quarterback.
  • Imogen Cunningham: Famous American photographer.
  • Richie Cunningham: A fictional character on the American television show "Happy Days".
  • Scott Cunningham: American author of several books on Wicca and various other alternative religious subjects.
  • Bob Cunningham: Jazz bassist.
  • Billy Cunningham: Basketball player and coach.
  • Kevin Cunningham: Boxer trainer.
  • Sophie Cunningham: Professional Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) player.
  • Taneisha Cunningham: Jamaican actress and producer.
  • Winston Groom Cunningham: An architectural historian and author.
  • Ward Cunningham: American computer programmer developed the first wiki.
  • David Cunningham: British musician and producer.
  • Colin Cunningham: Canadian Actor.
  • Rosemary Cunningham: British economist.
  • Glenn Cunningham: American middle-distance runner.
  • Merce Cunningham: American dancer and choreographer.
  • Vashti Cunningham: American track and field athlete, specializing in the high jump.
  • Jared Cunningham: American professional basketball player.
  • Julia Cunningham: Radio talk show host and TV Writer.
  • Wally Cunningham: American football player.
  • Billy Cunningham: American jazz pianist.
  • Jeremy Cunningham: Bassist for the British band, The Levellers.

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