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Matthew (m) Hebrew, ‘Jehovah’s gift.’ This name has
been at the height of fashion in England and Wales in the
late 1970’s, whereas in Scotland it appears to be slowly
disappearing. The name is ‘new’ in the South; Scottish
parents have long been familiar with it. Matthew was 26th most frequently used name in Scotland in 1858, 38th in 1935 and 62nd in 1958. Mat is the usual pet form. The surname Mathieson, ‘son of Matthew,’ is used on occasion as a Christian name in Scotland. The Mathesons in the Highlands, however, are known collectively in Gaelic as Mathanach, from a name which originally meant ‘son of the bear.’

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