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Surname Macavish - Meaning and Origin

all surnames with 'M'

Macavish: What does the surname Macavish mean?

The surname Macavish is of Scottish origin derived from the Gaelic name "MacAonghuis" which means "son of Angus." Angus comes from the Pictish given name Oengus, a mythological figure and Gaelic god often associated with love and youth. The name also has a royal connection, as Angus was the name of eight Scottish kings. The Macavish family name is closely linked with the Scottish Highlands, but was first found in Argyll, where they held a family seat. Like many surnames, Macavish can have multiple spellings, including MacAngus and McCuish. Over time, family members have emigrated and established new branches, making the name present in various countries globally. As with many Scottish surnames, traditional Celtic patterns of naming could see the name change with each generation as it often represented immediate paternal lineage, i.e., each generation would effectively have a 'new' surname being the son of their father. This naming pattern has contributed to the vast array of surnames that can be connected back to a few common roots.

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Macavish: Where does the name Macavish come from?

The last name Macavish is most commonly found in Scotland and Canada today. In Scotland, Macavish is centered around the Western Isles and the more northern parts of Scotland including the mainland areas near Inverness. In Canada, Macavish is mainly concentrated in Ontario, with some clusters in British Columbia and Quebec.

In the United States, the Macavish name is found significantly less. It is predominantly located in the states of California, Texas, and Wisconsin. There is a further presence in other states such as New York, Ohio, and Illinois.

The Macavish name is believed to be of Gaelic origin. In Scottish Gaelic, the name is pronounced “mac a’ bhuish”, which means “son of the Christmas season”. On the Isle of Skye, ‘Mac a’ bhuish’ was believed to refer to the festive season in which tales were told while the family gathered around the fire. It is from this story that the Macavish’s link to the festive season is believed to have come.

Macavish families not only have a rich and vibrant past, but are present in some parts of the world today. Those of the Macavish name often share a wealth of family history, surviving both the tough times and the easier times of Scottish and Canadian life.

Variations of the surname Macavish

Macavish is a surname originating mainly in Scotland and Northern Ireland. It is an Anglicisation of the Scottish Gaelic Mac a’ mhiosaich or Mac an mhiasaich, meaning “son of the servant”. This surname is sometimes spelled MacAvis, Macavish, McAvis and McCavis. Other variants of Macavish include MacAvis, MacAvish, McAvis, MacAvisay, MacAvays, MacAven, MacAvenay, MacAvensh, MacMhíosach, McAvas, McAvey, MacIvish, McAvish, MacCabbie, Mac paradise, MacMeesk, MacCivas and MacCawsey.

All of these variants and spellings are recognisable variants of Macavish and all would hold the same origin. It is likely that many of them have been split off from the original Macavish surname over the centuries. Some variations in spelling are caused by the lack of standardised spelling in different eras, or by the ways various languages involved can spell the same word. In some cases, different audio recordings and transcriptions of the same word can also mean that the spelling may change. For example, what would be spelled and pronounced Macavish in Scotland may be spelled differently in Northern Ireland or other Gaelic speaking regions.

There is a also a small possibility that the surname Macavish is based on the Scottish place name ‘Mac a’ mhiosaich’ meaning “son of the servant”. If this is the origin of the surname, then there are likely to be regionally specific spellings and surnames associated with the place name that are related to the surname Macavish. In general these would be Macavish, McAvis and MacAvis. On the whole however, the meaning and origin of the Macavish surname is most likely the same across all of its variants.

Famous people with the name Macavish

  • Duncan MacAvish, an 18th century Scottish doctor
  • Andrew MacAvish, a professional soccer player
  • Graham MacAvish, a rugby union player
  • Stuart MacAvish, an Australian Rules Football player
  • Angus MacAvish, a British comedian
  • Jack MacAvish, an American football player
  • Scott MacAvish, a Scottish folk singer
  • Shona MacAvish, an actress
  • Heather Mackavish, a professional golfer
  • Karen MacAvish, a Canadian ice hockey player
  • Donald MacAvish, a Canadian cyclist
  • Kira MacAvish, a Canadian swimmer
  • Bruce MacAvish, a Scottish jazz musician
  • William MacAvish, a Scottish carpenter

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