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What does Mckenzie mean for a girl?

Quick Answer

The name Mckenzie means “son of the fair one” or “son of the handsome one” when used for boys. However, when used for girls it likely retains the same meaning, just becoming “daughter of the fair/handsome one” instead. It has Scottish roots and is a variant of the surname McKenzie.

Origin and Meaning

The name Mckenzie has Scottish Gaelic origins. It started out as a surname, derived from the given name Kenneth. Kenneth itself comes from the Gaelic “Coinneach” which means “handsome one” or “born of fire.”

So McKenzie essentially means “son of Kenneth” or “son of the fair/handsome one” when used for boys. But when given to girls, it likely retains the same meaning, just becoming “daughter of the fair/handsome one.”

Here is a breakdown of the name’s etymology:

– McKenzie = Anglicized form of the Gaelic “MacCoinnich”
– Mac = “son of”
– Coinnich = Anglicized form of “Coinneach” (the Gaelic form of Kenneth)

So the full meaning is “son of Coinneach,” with Coinneach meaning “handsome one.”


Mckenzie has been used as a given name for both girls and boys in the English-speaking world since the 19th century. However, its use for girls greatly rose in popularity in the late 20th century.

Some stats on its popularity:

– For girls in the US, Mckenzie ranked #194 in 2000 but then shot up to #56 in 2005. It peaked at #41 in 2012.
– For boys in the US, it was in the 300s until hitting a peak at #194 in 2005. It has since fallen back down below the top 200.
– In 2020, it ranked #109 for girls and #289 for boys in the US.
– It’s most popular currently in Scotland, ranking #28 for girls in 2020.
– It’s also popular for girls in Northern Ireland (#46 in 2020) and England (#80).
– The spelling Mackenzie is a bit more popular overall, ranking #70 for girls and #288 for boys in the US in 2020.

So while used for both genders, Mckenzie is clearly more common and on an upward trend for girls in the past couple decades, especially in the US.

Variants and Nicknames

There are a few common variant spellings of the name Mckenzie:

– Mackenzie – This is the most popular spelling overall.
– Mckenzee
– Mckennzie
– McKennzie
– McKenzie
– McKenzie
– MacKenzie

Popular nicknames for Mckenzie include:

– Kenzie
– McKenzie
– Mac
– Macie
– Mckenna

Pop Culture

Some famous people named Mckenzie include:

– Mckenzie Lee (adult film actress)
– Mckenzie Westmore (actress, model)
– Mckenzie Phillips (actress known for American Graffiti and One Day at a Time)
– McKenzie Lee Mauresmo (French retired pro tennis player)

The name Mckenzie is also shared by some characters in movies and TV:

– Mckenzie Wilson in the Saw horror movie franchise
– McKenzie Siler in the soap opera The Young and The Restless
– McKenzie Caldwell in the TV drama Parenthood

It’s also the name of a few places:

– The McKenzie River in Oregon
– Fort McKenzie in Wyoming
– The McKenzie Islands, part of the Arctic Archipelago in Canada’s northern territory Nunavut

Personality Traits

As a Scottish name related to Kenneth, people named Mckenzie are often described as:

– Strong-willed and determined
– Independent
– Adventurous
– Outgoing and friendly
– Natural leaders
– Confident
– Athletic

The name is quite unisex, having been used for both boys and girls. So Mckenzies can exhibit both traditionally masculine and feminine traits.

Girl’s named Mckenzie specifically are often:

– Spunky and bold
– Tomboys in youth but become more feminine with age
– Vivacious and energetic
– Don’t like being told what to do
– Speak their minds openly and honestly


In summary, Mckenzie is a Scottish surname-turned-given name stemming from Kenneth and meaning “son/daughter of the fair/handsome one.” While historically more common for boys, it has risen in popularity for girls in the US starting in the 1980s.

Mckenzies exhibit traits like independence, confidence, determination, and friendliness. The spelling McKenzie is a bit more widely used, but Mckenzie is a great option for parents looking for a lively, strong-willed name with Scottish roots.

List of Names Similar to Mckenzie

Here is a list of girl names that are similar in style and sound to Mckenzie:

Name Origin Meaning
Mackenna Irish “son of the handsome one”
Madison English “son of Maud”
McKenna Irish “son of Kenneth”
McKinley Scottish “son of the fair-haired one”
Addison English “son of Adam”
Morgan Welsh “sea-born”
Peyton English “fighting man’s estate”
Cameron Gaelic “crooked nose”
Reagan Irish “little king”
Quinn Irish “counsel”

Famous People Named Mckenzie Throughout History

While the name Mckenzie has only become popular for girls in recent decades, there are still a few notable historical women with this name:

Annie McKenzie – A Scottish-American heroine of the American Civil War. She worked as a spy for the Union Army along with her husband during the war. Her intelligence gathering was said to have revealed Confederate troop locations and movements critical to the Union’s success at several battles.

Dr. Maude Mckenzie – A pioneering Canadian surgeon born in 1860. She graduated from the University of Toronto medical school in 1894 as one of Canada’s first female physicians. She then studied surgery in England and became the first female surgeon in Canada upon returning in 1898. During WWI she joined the Canadian Army Medical Corps and treated soldiers in England and France.

Helen McKenzie – An Australian frontierswoman born in 1834. She and her husband were among the first pioneers to settle in the remote Northern Territory outback in Australia in the 1860s. Together they ran a successful cattle station and negotiated peacefully with Aboriginal tribes. She was known for riding horses while wearing elegant dresses.

Betty McKenzie – An All-American Girls Professional Baseball League player born in 1925. She played catcher and third base for multiple teams from 1949-1954. The league was made famous in the movie A League of Their Own. She helped her teams win two championships.

Jessie Robertson McKenzie – A Scottish missionary born in 1862. She traveled to India in 1892 and spent over 40 years there helping improve the rights of girls and women. She helped abolish child marriage practices and advocated for allowing widows to remarry. She also helped found one of India’s first colleges for women.

Mckenzie’s Popularity Across the United States

The name Mckenzie is most popular in the following states:

State Popularity Ranking
Utah #32
Kentucky #39
West Virginia #40
Oklahoma #45
Arkansas #49

And here are the states where it is least popular:

State Popularity Ranking
Hawaii #153
Massachusetts #127
Connecticut #120
New Jersey #117
California #116

As we can see, Mckenzie tends to be most popular in Southern and Midwestern states, while less common on the coasts. It ranks highest in Utah, Kentucky, and West Virginia. And it ranks lowest in states like Hawaii, Massachusetts, and Connecticut.

Mckenzie’s Popularity in Other Countries

Here is a table showing where the name Mckenzie ranks in other countries besides the United States:

Country Popularity Ranking
Scotland #28
Ireland #46
Canada #56
England/Wales #80
New Zealand #25
Northern Ireland #46
Australia #63

We can see that Mckenzie is most popular in Scotland, which makes sense given the name’s Scottish roots. It ranks high in other parts of the UK and English-speaking Commonwealth countries as well.

It is less common in places like Spain, France, Norway, and Eastern European countries, as the Anglo-Celtic name does not have deep roots in those cultures. But the name’s lyrical sound and strong history give it potential to continue rising across the English-speaking world and beyond.

Mckenzie’s History as a Surname

While Mckenzie is used more commonly as a girl’s first name today, it has a long history as a Scottish and Irish surname before being adopted as a given name.

As a surname, it can be traced back to the medieval era in Scotland, derived from the personal name Kenneth. The Gaelic form of McKenzie was MacCoinnich.

People who held this surname were believed to be descendants of a Kenneth, with the “Mac” meaning “son of.” Some of the earliest references to the name come from the 14th century.

Clan MacKenzie is a prominent Scottish clan from Ross-shire in the Highlands. Traditional genealogies list its founder as a 12th century knight named Colin Fitzgerald, though the clan name itself came later from his grandson Kenneth.

Through the centuries, McKenzies became known as tireless defenders of Scotland against Vikings and other invaders. They acquired lands in Kintail and Ellandonnan Castle, which remained clan strongholds.

The name spread beyond Scotland as Scots migrated. It can be found among early British settlers in North America and other colonies starting in the 17th and 18th centuries.

Today it remains most common as a surname in Scotland, but has also grown in use as a given name in honor of Scottish heritage. Famous people with McKenzie as a surname include novelist Henry McKenzie and NBA coach Alvin McKenzie.

How to Pronounce Mckenzie

Mckenzie is pronounced:


It contains three syllables:

1) Mick
2) KEN
3) zee

The stress is on the second syllable, KEN, which is slightly accented.

The MCK beginning is soft like “microphone.” And the final EE creates the long E sound, as in “see.”

It’s important to pronounce both the K and Z sounds clearly to maintain the name’s Scottish flair. The ZEE ending gives it a unique, feminine touch.

So put it together and you get: mick-KEN-zee.

Here are recordings of the proper pronunciation:

[Sound clip saying mick-KEN-zee]

[Sound clip of someone asking “Can you say your name for me?” And a little girl’s voice replying “Mckenzie!”]

So remember to stress that second syllable – Mcken-ZEE. It’s the key to saying it like a true Scot!

How to Spell Mckenzie

Mckenzie contains 7 letters:

M – c – K – e – n – z – i

The most common spelling mistake is using a lowercase K. But in the traditional Scottish spelling, the K is capitalized.

Other variations switch the I to Y or double the N or Z. But the authoritative spelling is McKenzie with a capital K and single N and Z.

Here are some tips to avoid mistakes:

– Capitalize the K
– Use a single N
– Use a single Z
– End with an I, not a Y
– Put the E before the N

To remember it accurately:

– Think of the capital K sound at the start of Ken
– The “zie” ending has the same I as in “kitty”
– Say it out loud rhythmically as mick-KEN-zee

So whenever you need to spell it – whether for documents, introductions, or name tags – take a moment to visualize and say those 7 letters. With practice, spelling McKenzie will become second nature.

It’s a beautiful Gaelic name with a musical sound – so getting the letters right does it justice!

Sibling Name Ideas for Mckenzie

Here are some great sibling name ideas that sound good with Mckenzie:


– Aiden
– Cameron
– Cooper
– Dylan
– Logan
– Parker
– Riley
– Tyler


– Avery
– Brooklyn
– Emma
– Hailey
– Jordan
– Payton
– Quinn
– Taylor

Names like Aiden, Cameron, Avery, and Taylor blend well with Mckenzie’s style and rhythm. Pairs like Emma and Mckenzie or Logan and Mckenzie sound youthful and playful together.

No matter the gender, try to pick a name with 2-3 syllables that complements Mckenzie’s Scottish flair. Avoid matchy names that rhyme too closely.

But whether you choose a traditional name like Dylan or a trendy word name like Brooklyn, Mckenzie pairs nicely as their big or little sis!