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Old 04-04-2016, 03:35 AM
UDS UDS is offline
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Australia
Posts: 8,111
I'm thinking that there may have been a distinction here, both in Scotland and in Ireland, between the Anglophone and Gaelic-speaking cultures.

It seems to me that it's mostly Anglophone, lowland Scots who turn surnames into forenames, and simiilarly in Ireland it's Anglophone settlers (many of whom are from Scotland) and their descendants who do so. And it's the names associated with those cultures which get treated in this way.

Gaelic-speakers don't do this, either in Scotland or in Ireland. And even their descendants who adopt English don't do it, at least with Gaelic names.

You're right to say that most Gaelic surnames are in fact patronymics; this probably militates against their being adopted as forenames. Why call your son McMurrough when you can simply call him Murrough? But I notice that this hasn't prevented Anglo names like Jackson from becoming forenames.