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Surname Maccabée - Meaning and Origin

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Maccabée: What does the surname Maccabée mean?

The last name Maccabée is of French origin, derived from the Hebrew phrase "maqu'im be'tobim,” which means “those who stand firm and strong.” The name specifically originates from the Maccabean family, who were a group of Jewish priests of the 2nd century BC who championed the cause of Judaism and helped establish the Maccabean revolt. This revolt resulted in the release of Jewish people from cruel Seleucid rule. The last name Maccabée is particularly common in the Francophone province of Quebec, Canada.

The Maccabean family is remembered for their courage, commitment, and strength in the defence of their beliefs. Many of the Maccabees have been immortalised in the books of the New Testament and Maccabee has become a term associated with heroic bravery. The last name Maccabée is a testament to the courage and fortitude of a family of Jewish heroes, and a reminder to people in Quebec of the strength and resilience of the Jewish people.

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Maccabée: Where does the name Maccabée come from?

The last name Maccabée is quite common in Quebec today, particularly in the French-speaking regions of the province. The name is thought to have first been introduced to the area by 16th-century French Huguenots, and the variant spelling Macabee is also present in some families. There is also evidence of the Anglicized spelling MacCabe and even variations which drop the final ‘é’, such as Maccab, Maccabe or even MacCab.

The Maccabée family name is now widely distributed across the province, though it is particularly concentrated in certain parts. Quebec City, the provincial capital, is where the surname is most heavily represented, followed closely by Montreal and the surrounding areas. Further out, the name can be found in Lower Canada, the Gaspé Peninsula, parts of Northern Quebec and southern Ontario.

The Maccabée name still carries a sense of pride in some circles, with the name – in whatever spelling – tucked away in the pedigree of some of Quebec’s movers and shakers. Celebrated Canadian author André Alexis is a proud bearer of the Maccabée name, as is Québécois actress Diane Tell (née Maccabée).

Today, the name Maccabée is a reminder of the proud French ancestry of many Quebeckers – and Quebecers in general. It is a reminder that the province’s history and culture reaches further than just the waters of Canada’s second-largest province.

In short, the last name Maccabée is a reminder of Quebec’s history, and is a name that Quebeckers carry with pride today.

Variations of the surname Maccabée

The Maccabée surname in Quebec has multiple variants, spellings, and surnames of the same origin. Variants and alternate spellings of the name include Makabee, Makabey, Maccabe, Maccab, Makab, and Macabee. Variations and alternate surnames of the same origin include Maccavi, Maccawee, Maccovee, and Maccovey. These spellings and surnames can be derived from the original French form, Maccabée, or from an Anglicization of the name.

Maccabée is derived from the Hebrew word for hammer (makhabah). In the Old Testament of the Bible, the Maccabees were a group of Jewish rebels who fought against the Greek-Syrian armies to reclaim their freedom and integrity of their religion from oppressive rule. Their heroic victory is celebrated in the celebration of Hanukkah. Therefore, the surname Maccabée is symbolic of the family's strength, courage, and determination.

The French version of the name is Maccabée, and its variants, spellings, and surnames of the same origin largely reflect the French language. The French version most likely originated from the Norman dialect, where the family might have been from or lived for a time before settling in Quebec. The commonality of spelling among Maccabée may indicate that one ancestor brought the surname with them from their ancestral homeland.

The surname Maccabée has its roots in a proud people from Quebec and has remnants of a powerful story from the Old Testament. Variants, spellings, and surnames of the same origin may express a family's need to preserve their connection to this important ancestry.

Famous people with the name Maccabée

  • Steve Maccabée: A well-known Quebec journalist and anchor of the popular Télé Boomerang news program.
  • André Maccabée: The former mayor of the city of Saint-Georges-de-Beauce in Eastern Quebec.
  • Étienne Maccabée: A celebrated actor and director best known for his ongoing role in the popular television series "Les Guerts."
  • Marie-Josée Maccabée: A renowned Montreal-based designer and artist whose work has been exhibited in galleries all over the world.
  • Emilie Maccabée: An up-and-coming singer-songwriter from Montreal who has released three critically acclaimed albums.
  • Maxime Maccabée: A celebrated chef who has been running his own popular restaurant in Montreal's Little Italy for nearly two decades.
  • Maximilien Maccabée: A brilliant mathematician and inventor who has been awarded numerous prestigious awards for his ground-breaking work.
  • Nicolas Maccabée: A successful entrepreneur and venture capitalist from Montreal who has launched several successful startups.
  • Raphael Maccabée: A celebrated Montreal attorney and legal scholar who is highly regarded throughout Canada for his expertise in constitutional and international law.
  • Jean-François Maccabée: A world-renowned surgeon whose pioneering work on heart disease has saved countless lives.

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