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Murphy (Ó Murchadh).png
Language(s) Irish
Region of origin Ireland
Meaning Sea-warrior
Other names
Variant(s) Murchadh, Murphey, MacMurphy, MacMurrough, Morphy, O'Morchoe, O'Murphy, Murray, Morrow, MacMorrow

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, the second most common surname in Canada and the fifty-eighth most common surname in the United States.[5] The last name "Murphy" is also what Irish travellers called themselves when people asked for names.[citation needed]

People with the surname[edit]



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  • Official Home of the Murphy Clan, including a wealth of historical content about Ireland's Murphy Clan such as clan history, famous people, homelands, genealogy, discussion forums and blog articles.