The Meaning of the O- and Mc- Prefixes Added to English Names

You may have come across these names, along with many other names that have “Mc Mac” or “O-” added to them, such as McDonalds, Paul McCartney, Eric O’Brian, Shaquille O’Neal, Frank O’Connell, and MacGregor. In fact, these names could also be used without the additional prefix, as Donald, Paul, Brian, Neal, and Connell. So why do they complicate the names by adding “Mc Mac” and “O-“? Surnames are a secondary name added as an additional identifier and are generally passed down from one generation to another to identify a family or an individual within that family. In some places, surnames can be added directly to the first name instead of being added as a suffix. For example, the surname of a man named Eric’s son could be “Ericson”, meaning “son of Eric”. In fact, we can understand to some extent why surnames such as Karamollaoğlu, Güllüoğlu, Süleymanoğlu, Evliyaoğulları, and Demircioğulları are given in Turkish – to preserve and pass down the family name. The prefixes “Mc Mac” and “O-” used in English and a few other languages have a similar purpose.

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