Scotch-Irish-L ArchivesArchiver > Scotch-Irish > 1997-07 > 0870013653
From: Dan Wilson <>
Subject: Re: McCRAKEN/McCRACKEN 1700s MA
Date: Sun, 27 Jul 1997 07:27:33 -0700 (MST)
On Sun, 27 Jul 1997, Barbara Petty wrote:
> This man (named McCracken) with whom I corresponded, was a first generation
> American, his father having come to America from Ballymena, co. Antrim
> c1912. Here's what he told me in a letter:
> "In Gaelic, when an `N' follows a `C' it takes an `R' sound. Thus `Cnocan' -
> (hillock) becomes `Crockan.'
Dr. Phillip D. Smith in his book TARTAN FOR ME! says the same. He says:
"A Gaelic 'n' is an 'n' unless it follows a 'k' sound, then it is
pronounced as 'r.' Nichol is pronounced as it appears unless it follows
'Mac' in which case the name is pronounced 'MacRickle.' He also comments
on the intyerchangability of 'g' and 'k' as in MacGilroy=MacKilroy,
Gilroy=Kilroy. He also comments on dropping the redundant 'k' sound in,
for example MacKilroy=MacIlroy=MacElroy.
Sometimes a redundant letter was added. For example the surname meaning
'son of Hugh,' MacHutcheon=MacCutcheon=MacKutchen=MacKitchen,
and if the 'Mac' is dropped, we variants such as MacHutcheon = Hutchin;
MacKitchen = Kitchen. Finally if we Anglicize it by converting the
Gaelic 'Mac' to the English 'son' we have MacHutcheon = Hutchinson which
often is shortened to Hutchins. Whew!
Another interesting one is that 'th' at the end of a Gaelic word is
silent so that McGrath = McGraw.
> It would be lovely if there are any Scots reading who know Gaelic and could
> actually verify the above.
Well, we have at least another Gaelic scholar in Dr. Phil Smith who
confirms the 'n' vs 'r' question.
|Re: McCRAKEN/McCRACKEN 1700s MA by Dan Wilson <>|