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Murphy (Ó Murchadh).png
MeaningSea Warrior
Region of originIreland
Other names
Variant form(s)Murchadh, Murphey, MacMurphy, MacMurrough, Morphy, O'Morchoe, O'Murphy, Murray, Morrow, MacMorrow, Murfoir, Murpy

Murphy (/ˈmɜːrfi/) is an Irish surname.

Origins and variants[edit]

The surname is a variant of two Irish surnames: "Ó Murchadha"/"Ó Murchadh" (descendant of "Murchadh"), and "Mac Murchaidh"/"Mac Murchadh" (son of "Murchadh")[1] derived from the Irish personal name "Murchadh", which meant sea-warrior or sea-battler[2] (muir meaning sea and cath meaning battle).[3]

It is said of Murrough (Murchadh) as he entered the thick of the fight and prepared to assail the foreign invaders, the Danes, when they had repulsed the Dal-Cais, that 'he was seized with a boiling terrible anger, an excessive elevation and greatness of spirit and mind. A bird of valour and championship rose in him, and fluttered over his head and on his breath.[4]

In modern Irish, "Ó Murchú", rather than "Ó Murchadha", is used.

"Murphy" is the most common surname in Ireland, the fourteenth most common surname in Northern Ireland, and the fifty-eighth most common surname in the United States.[5]

People with the surname[edit]



Fictional characters[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Brewer, Paul (2002). Ireland: History, People, Culture. Running Press. p. 351. ISBN 0-7624-1269-0.
  2. ^ MacLysaght, Edward (1991). The Surnames of Ireland. Irish Academic Press. p. 221. ISBN 978-0-7165-2366-6.
  3. ^ Hanks, Patrick; Hardcastle, Kate; Hodges, Flavia (2006), A Dictionary of First Names, Oxford Paperback Reference (2nd ed.), Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 352, 406, ISBN 978-0-19-861060-1
  4. ^ Hennessey, W M. The Ancient Irish Goddess of War. Library of Alexandria. p. 307. ISBN 978-1-6131-0276-3.
  5. ^ "Genealogy Data: Frequently Occurring Surnames from Census 2000". Archived from the original on 21 December 2009. Retrieved 19 April 2012.

External links[edit]

  • Official Home of the Murphy Clan, including a wealth of historical content about Ireland's Murphy Clan such as clan history, famous people, homelands, genealogy, discussion forums and blog articles.