Last name: Aim

Recorded as Aim and Aime, this is a surname of the Orkneys. It is well recorded in those islands although very surprisingly it does not appear at all in Black's famous 'Dictionary of Scottish Surnames'. This is a surprising omission, and only the second out of some four thousand surnames of Scotland, that we have encountered. Preumably this was because the late Professor Black somehow missed it, or he perhaps may have considered that it originated from some other country. This however is unlikely as about seventy percent of Scottish names have some original input from other countries. In anycase the origin is almost certainly pre 10th century Gaelic, and a form of the word 'aimh.' This had the literal meaning of 'raw', and was also used as a compound as in for instance 'aimhleasach' which then translated as 'ruthless'. Most Gaelic surnames originate from the name given to the first chief or leader, and most were nicknames, so to be called Raw or Ruthless was par for the course in such names. An early recording is that of Magnus Aim who married Margaret Harvie at Shapinsay, Orkney, in 1636.

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