How do we pronounce the Gaelic name McLeod?

Does any Gaelic name have a specific pronunciation? For the continental European it is a real nightmare.

  • yes, it is a "Highlander" hero, miklaud or something other? Nov 9 '11 at 23:10
  • "I'm Connor MacLeod of the Clan MacLeod. I was born in the year 1518, and I will never die."
    – MT_Head
    Nov 10 '11 at 0:05
  • 3
    I believe sometimes, when they move to America, they use the spelling McCloud. imdb.com/title/tt0065492
    – GEdgar
    Nov 10 '11 at 2:33
  • I seem to recall visiting a Lake McLeod in my youth and the locals pronounced it "Mack-a-Lloyd"
    – user49772
    Aug 15 '13 at 3:51
  • The name "McLeod" is pronounced "Mac-li-odd", especially in North America.
    – user123588
    May 31 '15 at 21:45

If it helps, in the International Phonetic Alphabet, it’s/mək’laʊd/.


The English pronounce McLeod "Mack Loud" with the emphasis on the second syllable. If you make the effort to leave out the vowel in the first syllable entirely, that is good enough for most Scots, though the c should really sound like the ch in 'Bach'.

There are subleties beyond that, but probably not worth worrying about for your purposes. (All regions and languages have their own subtleties, and unless you can listen to a native, it is probably futile to worry about getting any name 'absolutely right' (let alone the differences in Scottish v Irish, Highland v Lowland, West Coast v East Coast... right down to those gravel-chewing barbarians at the bottom of the hill v the vowel-strangling snobs at the top.))

  • 1
    Why do you say the c should really sound like the ch in 'Bach'? "Mc" represents the Gaelic word "macc", which has a stop consonant.
    – Colin Fine
    May 8 '16 at 19:49

In Australian English 'McLeod' would be pronounced as 'McLoud'.


Assuming the Gaelic spelling is Mac Leòid, in Ireland that would be 'Mack Layoh-dge'.

  • 1
    It's also a Scottish name, MacLeòid, where it's [maxkˈlɔːtʲ], or approximately "Mach Lot". Aug 10 '12 at 2:25

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