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Surname Mackarel - Meaning and Origin

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Mackarel: What does the surname Mackarel mean?

The last name Mackarel is of Scottish origin, believed to be derived from the Gaelic Mac Giolla-Phádraig, meaning “son of the devotee of St. Patrick.” Specifically, it is thought to be a derived form of the Gaelic name Mac Gillaphadraig which became Mac Giolla-Phádraig in its Irish form and eventually Mackarel in its English incarnation. This is based on the fact that St. Patrick was a popular figure in Scotland due to the influence of Irish missionaries.

The name Mackarel itself may be related to the Scottish word makarel, an old Scottish term for "a small fish." This would fit in with the idea of the prefix Mac suggesting that its original owners were fishermen or fishermen’s sons.

The name first appears as mentioned in the 14th century as MacErell, a form that persisted in Scottish naming registers until the 16th century and was then replaced by the spelling Mackarel.

Today, the name is most concentrated in the Scottish Borders regions, suggesting an origin in the Lowland region, which was heavily populated by the Scottish Gaelic speaking people. In recent times, it has seen some changes such as the modern spelling of McCaroll and McKarrel, but the original form of Mackarel is still in use scattered throughout Scotland.

Mackarel: Where does the name Mackarel come from?

The last name Mackarel is most commonly found in Scotland and Ireland, as well as other countries of British Isles descent. In Scotland, the Mackarel name is especially common in places such as Orkney, Shetland, and The Highlands, in part due to the large amount of fishing that has taken place in these regions. According to records, the Mackarel name erupted within these regions in the 1600s, and has since spread to other parts of the British Isles, such as Wales, England, Canada, and the United States. However, it appears that the highest concentration remains within the locales where it originated, with Scotland having the highest number of individuals who bear the surname. The name also appears to be quite common in Ireland- records show that one in every four thousand people in the Republic of Ireland have the Mackarel surname. However, the exact origin of the name is still unknown.

Variations of the surname Mackarel

The surname Mackarel is rooted in the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture. The name was originally derived from a place-name in Norman England, consisting of the elements "mac" (which means son) and "kar" (meaning rock or crag).

Variants of the Mackarel surname include MacKarel, Makarel, MacCarol, MacCarroll, McCarrol, MacCarel, MacCaarolt, Makcaroll, and Mackerole.

MacKarel is the most common spelling of the surname. It is thought to originate from the old Gaelic form, Mhic Croidhealaibh, meaning "son of Croidhealaibh". However, it may have been adapted from the Scottish MacCarroll clan name, Mac Dhughaill, which means "son of the dark one," referring to the clan's supposed dark-haired warrior ancestor.

MacKarel also has many alternate spellings, which are derived from various regional dialects. These include Makarel, MacCarol, MacCarroll, McCarrol, MacCarel, MacCaarolt, Makcaroll, and Mackerole. Each of these variations likely originated in different parts of Scotland, as different dialects evolved, and was adapted further as emigrants moved to different regions.

It is likely that the Mackarel surname originated in the British Isles, but it has also spread to other countries in the form of various spellings. For example, in the United States, many people have adopted the MacKarel spelling; in Australia, the MacCarroll spelling is more common; and in New Zealand, the McCarrol spelling has become common.

In summary, the surname Mackarel has many variants, spellings, and surnames of the same origin, all derived from different regions and dialects of the British Isles.

Famous people with the name Mackarel

  • George MacKarel: English football player and manager who played for Torquay United and Exeter City.
  • Chris MacKarel: American musician, playing bass and upright bass for Bruce Springsteen.
  • Curt MacKarel: American chef and restaurant owner who owns several successful eateries in Florida and the Caribbean.
  • William Mackerel: British author and illustrator who wrote The Little White Horse, which was adapted into a movie in 1946.
  • Max Mackerel: American actor best known for his role as Captain Sunderstrom on the NBC series SeaQuest DSV.
  • Olga Mackerel: Russian actress and model who appeared in such movies as The Longest Day and Dr. Zhivago.
  • Henry Mackerel: Australian actor most famous for his role as Hugh Fraser in the TV series McLeod's Daughters.
  • Sheila MacKarel: Canadian singer and songwriter who released the hit single "One Small Step" in 1994.
  • Julian MacKarel: English film director who directed the critically acclaimed movie Billy Elliott.
  • Harry MacKarel: English professional footballer who played for Blackburn Rovers and Wolverhampton Wanderers.

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