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Updated June 9, 2019

Family name origins & meanings

  • Scottish : habitational name from Linlithgow, between Edinburgh and Falkirk, which was probably named with British words related to modern Welsh llyn ‘lake’, ‘pool’ + llaith ‘damp’ + cau ‘hollow’. In the 13th and 14th centuries the name appears both with and without the first syllable. Originally, Lithgow was the name of the settlement and Linlithgow that of the lake. Lithgow was associated by folk etymology with Gaelic liath ‘gray’ + cu ‘dog’, and such a figure appears on the medieval borough seal.

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