Campbell (surname)

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Campbell surname map.png
Campbell surname map
Region of originScotland
Footnotes: Frequency Comparisons:[1]

Campbell is primarily a Scottish surname of Gaelic origins.

In Scotland, the name itself derives from two Scottish Gaelic words. "Cam" (crooked) and "Beul" (mouth) meaning "Crooked mouth" or "wry-mouthed", originally a nickname which over time became used as a surname.[2]

Campbell is the third most common surname in Northern Ireland, fourth most common in Jamaica, seventh most common in Scotland, 12th most common in Canada, 18th most common in Australia, 41st most common in the United States and 65th most common in England.[1]

The Irish (outside of Northern Ireland) occurrence of the name usually has a different derivation, from the surname Mac Cathmhaoil. Descendants of a famous war-leader (Cathmhaoil means "battle chief") took the surname, which was often pronounced "Cammel". This coincided with the pronunciation of the Scottish surname "Campbell", and was therefore anglicised to the same spelling. From this Irish surname, a number of derivations were derived including MacCawill, McCaul, MacCall, Caulfield, and of course Campbell.[3]

Notable persons named Campbell[edit]

Campbell Killian famous Kiltormer man.

Military and politics[edit]


Television and film[edit]

Music, art, and literature[edit]

Science and education[edit]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Campbell Surname Meaning and Distribution". Retrieved 21 January 2014
  2. ^ Partick Woulfe (March 2010). Irish Names and Surnames. Genealogical Publishing Com. ISBN 978-0-8063-0381-9. Retrieved 15 March 2012.
  3. ^ Alastair Campbell (September 2000). A history of Clan Campbell. Edinburgh University Press. pp. 5–. ISBN 978-1-902930-17-6. Retrieved 15 March 2012.