If your heritage is part Scots, part Norwegian, then this pick is perfect for you firstborn son.
Thanks to Sassy for suggesting Lachlan as Name of the Day.
Lachlan is one of those ever-so-Scottish appellations. But dig in just a tiny bit, and you find yourself standing in another country entirely.
Loch is, of course, the Scottish for lake. (The Loch Ness monster is thought to lurk beneath the waters of Lake Ness.) Once upon a time, Norway was referred to as Lochlann – land of the lakes. And so the name was bestowed upon those from Norway, or with Norwegian blood.
Over the years, the spelling morphed. Lachlann, Lochlainn, Lauchlan and Laochailan are among the variants found. That last one gave rise to a competing theory for Lachlan’s origins – the Gaelic word laochail, warlike.
There’s also Loughlin and Laughlin – they all share the pronunciation LAHK lan, but these two spellings are usually reserved for surnames.
Despite the link to Viking warriors of yore, most notable bearers of the name have been of Scottish descent. There’s:
- A string of chiefs of Clan Maclean between the 1300s and present day. At least eight have been named Lachlan;
- Scottish born Lachlan McIntosh became a leader in the American revolution from his adoptedhome in the state of Georgia;
- Lachlan Macquarie left the Inner Hebrides back in the nineteenth century and became the visionary governor of New South Wales, Australia.
Doubtless that’s why Lachlan is a big name down under – he’s solidly in the Top Ten throughout Australia and hovers near the Top 25 in New Zealand.
That’s far more popular than the UK – he’s just outside of the Top 100. In the US, Lachlan is a rarity. Believe it or not, he has never ranked in the Top 1000.
His comparatively unknown status in the US could appeal to American parents searching for something unusual, but not outlandish. Lachlan fits in with Top 50 choices like Logan, Liam and Landon while still sounding more distinctive.
And the nickname Lach – pronounced like the word lock – puts this choice up there with Cassius/Cash, Dashiell/Dash and other traditional picks with trendy short forms.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention one more famous Lachlan – the developer of Baby Name Brainstorm, a truly sophisticated baby name search engine.
In the US, the only drawback to Lachlan is that he might read either too very Scottish, making him a less-than-perfect pick for parents from other backgrounds – or, possibly, the thought of Lachlan endlessly being mistaken for Logan or Landon.
But overall, he’s the right mix of perfectly valid historical choice and underused option, with a touch of nature name thrown in for good measure.