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Doyle is a surname of Irish origin. The name is an Anglicisation of the Irish Ó Dubhghaill /oːˈd̪ˠʊwəlʲ/, meaning "descendant of Dubhghall". The personal name Dubhghall contains the elements dubh "black" + gall "stranger".[1] Similar Scottish and Irish surnames, derived from the same personal name are: MacDougall / McDougall and MacDowell / McDowell.[1]

During the Viking Age the term Dubhghoill was used to describe the Vikings—usually Danes—and the term Fionnghoill ("fair foreigners") was used to describe Norwegians.[2] There is uncertainty as to the exact meaning of these terms. If they do not refer to literal colours of hair, complexion, or apparel, the terms could denote "new" and "old" Vikings. If correct, the terms may distinguish differing groups or dynasties, or perhaps represent ethnonyms referring to Danes and Norwegians respectively.[3] Later, Fionnghall was used to describe Scottish Gaels from the Hebrides, and sometimes the Hiberno-Normans (or "Old English"). The most common term for the Hiberno-Normans was Seanghoill ("old foreigners") to difference themselves from the Dubhghoill the "new foreigners" or "dark foreigners" who came to Ireland during Tudor conquest of Ireland.[2]

The name Doyle is not found in any of the old genealogies, like other prominent Irish families. This has led many to maintain that the Doyles are of somewhat recent origin in Ireland. Doyle is one of the 20 most common surnames in Ireland. In consequence it is thought that there may be several different specific origins for the name. Doyles found in Ulster may be of Scottish descent, as the name was used for MacDowell. In the 20th century the principal locations for the surname were in Dublin, Wexford, Wicklow, Carlow, Kerry and Cork.[4]








  • Gary Doyle, (born 1949), former Canadian ice hockey player
  • George Doyle, Gaelic footballer
  • Geraldine Doyle (1924–2010), American model.
  • Gerry Doyle (1911–1990), Irish footballer and manager
  • Graham Doyle (born 1974), Irish football coach









Robert R. Doyle (born 1988), American Actor




Fictional characters


  1. ^ a b "Doyle Name Meaning and History".  
  2. ^ a b McLeod, Wilson (2002). Divided Gaels, Gaelic Cultural Identities in Scotland and Ireland, c.1200–c.1650. Oxford University Press. pp. 126–129. 
  3. ^ Etchingham, C (2014). "Names for the Vikings in Irish Annals". In Sigurðsson, JV; Bolton, T. Celtic-Norse Relationships in the Irish Sea in the Middle Ages, 800–1200. The Northern World: North Europe and the Baltic c. 400–1700 AD. Peoples, Economics and Cultures (series vol. 65). Leiden:  
  4. ^ O'Laughlin, Michael C. (2002). The Book of Irish Families, Great & Small: Great & Small. Irish Roots Cafe. p. 87.  

External links

  • History of the Doyle surname in Ireland, including Doyle clan history, famous people, homelands and guestbook.
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