Angus and MacAngus

A common query is to ask why Angus and MacAngus are MacInnes names? The answer is simple – it is rooted in the original Gaelic for MacInnes – ‘MacAonghais.’

A crude pronunciation of the Gaelic name Aonghais is something like ‘On–uh-eesh.’
The ‘g’ is aspirated – that is, it is, silent - when followed by the ‘h’. So that MacAonghais sounds a bit like ‘Mac On-uh-eesh,’ hence the early Anglicisation of MacInnish.

Later this would often be standardised in Scotland as MacInnis and McInnis, and later still as MacInnes and McInnes.

A non Gaelic-speaker would unknowingly sound the ‘g’ in Aonghais and MacAonghais resulting in Angus and MacAngus.

It is the translation from the Gaelic that accounts for the many variants of the name MacInnes we see today. (Mac is pronounced Machk - the ‘ch’ as in the Scottish pronunciation of loch).