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Surname Mahaney - Meaning and Origin

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Mahaney: What does the surname Mahaney mean?

The surname Mahaney is usually associated with Irish heritage, derived from the famous Kings of Ireland named 'O'Mahony'. In Irish Gaelic, it is mentioned as 'Mathghamhan' or 'Mathuna' which was anglicized to Mahaney. It is a patronymic name where 'O' implies grandson or descendant and 'Mathuna' means bear, translating it to 'descendant of the bear'. Hence, the name literally meant 'bear-calf' possibly signifying traits like strength, ferocity or bravery. The O'Mahony clan originally hails from the County Cork and County Kerry region in Ireland. As the family grew, several branches established themselves in different regions and adopted different forms for their surname, one of them being Mahaney. In time, emigrations and anglicization resulted in this name appearing in various parts of the world. While the name can be traced back to royal lineage, it is now a common last name in different regions.

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Mahaney: Where does the name Mahaney come from?

The last name Mahaney is most commonly found in the United States today. The name originated from Scotland, where it was a variant of the surname ‘McHaney’.

In the United States, it is mainly concentrated in the state of Maryland; however, the name has been found in various other states including Pennsylvania, Ohio, Virginia and New Jersey. According to the United States Census Bureau, the estimated population of Mahaney in the United States is 5,183 people.

In the 2010 census, it was found that the most populated areas were Maryland, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Virginia and New Jersey; however, isolated pockets of the name were found to be scattered across the US. While the most popular Mahaneys are found in Maryland, there are also a number of them in Northern California.

Overall, Mahaney is an interesting name that is still heavily populated in the United States. With that, it’s not hard to see why so many Mahaneys live in the same parts of the US. Considering its Scottish roots, the fact that the name has found its way to America is quite impressive.

Variations of the surname Mahaney

The surname Mahaney is of Irish origin and is most commonly spelled Mahoney. Some other variants of this surname include Mahony, Mac Mahoney, MacHenery, MacHeney, MacHenery, and Mahani. The Mac prefix in front of Mahoney is indicative of this surname being an anglicized form of a Gaelic name, which would be Ó Mathghamhna.

Some of the most common spellings of Mahaney – Mahoney, Mahony, and MacHenery – have been found as far back as the 13th century in Ireland. After the Great Famine in the mid-19th century, many Irish families immigrated to the United States and other countries, where they began using different spellings of the last name, such as Mahaney.

The Mahaney variant is much less common than its counterparts. It is believed this variant came about due to an amalgamation of MacHenery and Mahony as the name was passed down and changed over time. The merged form of the name could be found as early as the 19th century.

Today, Mahaney is still fairly rare. Its popular spellings, Mahoney and Mahony, are much more common, although it is still possible to find individuals with the Mahaney variant.

Famous people with the name Mahaney

  • LeRoy Mahaney Jr.: professional basketball player in the National Basketball Association (NBA) for the New York Knicks.
  • Terry Mahaney: a former professional American football cornerback who played from 1970-1976 for the New Orleans Saints and New York Jets.
  • Steven Mahaney: an American musician who was lead vocalist and main songwriter of the American rock band Cinder Road.
  • Tom Mahaney: an American dentist and porn actor who has appeared in numerous adult films.
  • Kristin Mahaney: an American actress best known for her roles in the horror films “The Hills Have Eyes II”, “The Funhouse”, and “Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood”.
  • Andy Mahaney: an American comedian and television show host who is best known for appearing on ESPN’s “Sports Center” and NBC’s “Late Night with Conan O'Brien”.
  • Michele Mahaney: an American interior designer based in New York City.
  • Stan Mahaney: an American actor known for his roles in films such as “Predator 2” and “Ernest Goes to Camp”.
  • Erin Mahaney: an American writer and comedian best known for her work on South Park and The Daily Show.
  • Kara Mahaney: an award-winning American singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist.

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