Recorded in several spellings including Malloch, Mallock, Mollock and Mullock, this is a Scottish surname of medieval "nickname" origins> It is claimed that the MacGregors of Balhaldie were known as Macian Mhallich, which translates as "The sons of John with the bushy eyebrows". Clan MacGregor was outlawed for "high treason against the state" in 1603, and not re-instated until 1784, and the use of the name banned. Many MacGregors changed their name to Cunningham, but in this case it would seem that they had already adopted the present forms. Nicknames were responsible for the origination of over half of all Gaelic surnames, some are quite rude, some sarcastic, whilst this one was presumably accurate, as the said John Mhalich was recorded as having "large, shaggy eyebrows". Perhaps surprisingly to modern tastes, the Gaelic warriors of seven hundred or more years ago, do not seem to have minded being called "Ugly head" (Kennedy) or "The bald or tonsured one" (Malise), so perhaps to be called "Bushy eyebrows" was a compliment. Early examples of the name recording taken from authentic charters and registers of the post medieval period include John Malyoch, who held the lands of Parcyis in the year 1523, and John Mulloche, a law officer in Urquart. Andro Malloch was the schoolmaster of Auchterdirran in 1648.

Surnames reference. 2013.

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