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Gavin (m) A name used by the Dunbars. Gavin Dunbar
was archbishop of Glasgow and Lord Chancellor of Scotland in James V’s reign. Another Gavin Dunbar was bishop of Aberdeen in the early sixteenth century. Gavin was a decidedly Scottish name until the 1960’s, little used before that time in other English-speaking countries. It is now spreading rapidly in Australia and elsewhere. Black (Surnames of Scotland) says of it that it was ‘a favourite forename throughout Strathclyde in past times. It is the Scots form of English Gawayne, in French Gauvain.’ He also tells us that apart from being a common surname in Brechin in the seventeenth century it was to be found as such amongst ‘the gypsies of the Border.’ Its pet form is Guy, via Gavie.

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