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Menzies is a Scottish surname. It is probably derived, like its Gaelic form Méinnearach, from the Norman name Mesnières.[1][2][3]


This Scottish name is traditionally pronounced, as it still is in Scotland, Listeni/ˈmɪŋɨz/ (or "ming-iz"), since the English letter <z> was used as a substitute for the now obsolete letter <ȝ> (yogh) in the Scots language (Menȝies). However, many now do not know this, and today it is often pronounced as if it were an English word and hence it is often pronounced /ˈmɛnzz/. A Scottish limerick plays on the traditional pronunciation:

There wis a young lassie named Menzies,
That asked her aunt whit this thenzies.
Said her aunt wi a gasp,
"Ma dear, it's a wasp,
An you're haudin the end whaur the stenzies!"

The second and fifth lines are pronounced as though the <z> were a <ȝ>, making "thing is" and "sting is", to rhyme with "Menzies". "Wasp" rhymes with "gasp" in Scots.

As a surname[edit]

As a given name[edit]

  • Walter Menzies Campbell, former leader of the Liberal Democrats in the United Kingdom
  • Iain Menzies Banks, Scottish writer, penname used for the his science fiction works.

As a toponym[edit]

See also[edit]