(Received April 7, 2009)


The meaning of the O apostrophe in O'Hara

    What does the O' signify on Irish names?     What is the origin (meaning) of the name? 

    Jana Strong

Email: jana@oharas.com

Webmaster's reply

    Dear Jana,

    the O' (really Ó or Uí), like Mac, in an Irish or Scottish (Gaelig) name means "son of". The name probably means something like "son of Hara". I'm James O'Hara so in Irish that would be Séamus Ó hEaghra. The feminine form of Ó is "ní" meaning "daughter of". Thus, a girl called Mary O'Hara would be Máire ní hEaghra. The gh in the name is an aspirated g and was abbreviated in the Gaelig script as g with a dot over it. See the O'Hara crest on the home page. Here's a link about a fifteenth-century O'Hara on the history page at this site.

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