Recorded as O' Boran, O' Borne, O' Burrane and more usually without the ancient Gaelic O' prefix, this is an Irish surname. According to the late Edward MacLysaght generally accepted as have been the foremost authority on Irish surnames, this is a surname that traditionally has been recorded in East Limerick and West Tipperary. It has the highly unusual meaning of "The male descendant of the deaf one" from the ancient O' Bodhrain". Almost all Gaelic surnames whether Irish or Scottish originate from a nickname for the first chield of the clan. Most of these were highly personal, usually related to a warrior of some distinction, and often "robust." A good example is that of the famous Kennedy clan where the name translates literally as "ugly head". On that basis O' Boran is a complimentary surname, although whether the chief was actually deaf or could be deaf when he was hearing something he did not like, history has failed to provide an answer.
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