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Surname MacCahon - Meaning and Origin

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MacCahon: What does the surname MacCahon mean?

MacCahon is not a commonly recognized surname in English-speaking countries or Celtic origins, so it's challenging to provide a precise meaning. It might be a variation of the Irish name McMahon, which means "son of the bear." Irish surnames often begin with "Mac" or "O," meaning "son of" or "descendant of," followed by the name or profession of an ancestor. McMahon derives from "Mac Mathghamhna," where "Mathghamhna" means bear in Gaelic. It suggests that the bear's characteristics, like strength and courage, were admired by the ancestors of this family. Errors in translations or in recording surnames over generations in different regions could have resulted in the spelling of "MacCahon". Alternatively, it could be an uncommon surname from another language or culture whose meaning is not easily accessible or known in English.

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MacCahon: Where does the name MacCahon come from?

The surname MacCahon is derived from the Gaelic Irish name Mac Mathúna which means 'Son of Mahon'. The name Mahon is believed to come from the Gaelic word 'mathghamain', meaning 'bear'. The surname is of a patronymic origin, indicating a familial relationship initially borne by the son of someone named Mahon.

This ancient surname MacCahon has several variants such as McMahon, McMahen, and MacMahon, among others. It has roots in the historical province of Connacht, especially in County Clare, Limerick, and Cavan in Ireland. The McMahon clans were powerful regional rulers with vast territories under their control.

The effect of emigration throughout the centuries has disseminated the name across various parts of the world. Thus, while still prevalent in Ireland itself, the name MacCahon and its derivatives are also common amongst Irish diaspora communities, particularly in places like the United States, Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom. Within these countries, the name may have further concentrations in certain regions due to historical migration patterns.

Variations of the surname MacCahon

The surname MacCahon has origins in Ireland, deriving from the Gaelic Mac Eacháin, meaning 'son of Eachán'. Eachán itself is a diminutive form of 'each', meaning 'horse'. The Irish form of the name has been Anglicised in various ways leading to several variant spellings and surnames.

Variant spellings include: MacMahon, McMahon, MacMahan, McMahan, MacMehan, McMehan, and MacMahone. Additionally, due to regional accents and pronunciation, the surname could further evolve to alternative spellings like Mahon, Mahan, and Meehan.

The 'Mac' prefix was also often dropped, particularly during periods of English rule in Ireland, leading to versions of the name like Cahon or Cahan. Some families may have changed the surname completely or morphed it into similar sounding English or Scottish names, such as McCown or even McCann.

The different spellings arose due to combination of factors, such as the translation of Gaelic to English, the regional dialects of Ireland, and the illiteracy and standardization of spelling. Thus, all these surnames can be considered as variants or related to the original MacCahon surname.

Famous people with the name MacCahon

  • Julie MacCahon: Julie MacCahon is an Australian television presenter and a news reporter. She currently works on two shows broadcasted on Seven Network; Seven Morning News and Seven Afternoon News.
  • Angus MacCahon: Angus MacCahon is an actor with roles in numerous films and series. He is known for appearances in series such as Divorce Court, Spectacular Spiderman, Blood Wake, and The Witch’s Guide to Wine.
  • Mal MacCahon: Mal MacCahon is an Australian artist who specialises in hyperrealist portrait painting and landscape photography. His artwork is featured in galleries in both Australia and the United Kingdom.
  • Stephen MacCahon: Stephen MacCahon is an Irish politician who has been a member of Fianna Fáil and the Seanad since February 2020.
  • Declan MacCahon: Declan MacCahon is an American entrepreneur, investor, and producer best known for producing the films ‘The Sixth Sense’ and ‘Blue Valentine’.
  • Mairéad MacCahon: Mairéad MacCahon is an Irish musician born in Dublin in 1961. She has played both solo concerts and festivals.
  • Sean MacCahon:Sean MacCahon is an American playwright best known for his award winning works which include ‘The Cage’ and ‘The Question of God’.
  • Brian MacCahon: Brian MacCahon is an Irish politician who was a member of the Dáil Éireann from 1992 to 1997.
  • Lacy MacCahon: Lacy MacCahon is an American model and actress who has appeared in numerous TV shows and films, most notably the series Hart of Dixie and the movie Grease 2.

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