McCoy (surname)

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Family name
Meaning "son of Aodh"
Region of origin Southern Isles of Scotland, Kintyre, Ulster Ireland
Language(s) of origin Gaelic
Related names McKay, McKoy, McKey, McKee, McCay, McKie, McGee, Mac Aoidh, McHugh, Hughes, Hayes
Footnotes: Frequency Comparisons[1]

McCoy is a common surname of Scottish origin in the lands of Kintyre and then Irish (Gallowglass) origin. It is an Anglicisation of its Irish Gaelic form Mac Aodha, meaning "son of Aodh" (an old word for "Fire", a Celtic deity). It is particularly found in Ulster (Counties Antrim, Armagh and Monaghan) where many settled around the 13th century, having been Gallowglasses, and also in counties Limerick and Cork. Aoidh and Mac Aoigh were sometimes Anglicised as Hugh and McHugh.


Use in fiction[edit]

Other uses[edit]

  • One of the families in the Hatfield-McCoy feud in Kentucky/West Virginia in the 19th century. A TV mini-series "Hatfields & McCoys" starring Kevin Costner and Bill Paxton depict the horrific blood feud between the two families on the West Virginia/Kentucky border in the years after the Civil War.


  1. ^ "McCoy Surname Meaning and Distribution".  Retrieved 21 January 2014