Recorded as Gamack and Gammack, this is a Scottish surname. According to an early dictionary of Scottish Surnames, the derivation is from the pre 7th century Gaelic word 'gamag' meaning a stride. If so this would suggest that the original name was a nickname for a person who was a fast walker, and perhaps with a particularly long stride. Perhaps more logically it may have been occupational, and to have described a messenger or herald, one who covered long distances on foot. Like many such early surnames, in order to be sure of the intended meaning, it would have been necessary to be present when the name was given in the first place, and the reason recorded in some form. This rarely if ever, happened. Curiously the first known recording of the name is that of Gawmak Moleny, a tenant of Strathdee in 1527. This would seem to have been a first name rather than a surname and may have translated as 'Long stride' Moleny. Shortly afterwards in Aberdeen we have the recording of Thomas Gammak. He was elected a burgess or alderman, of that city in 1571. Other recordings showing the variety of early spellings include William Gammock, a farmer of Coburty in 1785, and James Gammack, (1837 - 1923), a famous author and editor in his day.
© Copyright: Name Origin Research 1980 - 2017