When I was younger I always felt my name, Morag, was quite old fashioned, and on occasion I would wish for a more ‘modern’ name. Little did I know then that as I got older I would find people would find my name interesting because it is so unusual in other countries.
The name Morag is Celtic/Gaelic in origin (Scots Gaelic, I don’t know of any Irish or Welsh people with the name but please do let me know if you know of anyone) and in Gaelic it means ‘great’. It is pronounced Mor-ag (the ‘a’ is short as in the word apple) and the most common English translation of the name is Sarah.
When I first started travelling I found myself having to slowly repeat my name to people I met and this started me thinking my name was pretty unique. Moving to Saudi Arabia raised a few more name issues… Communicating by email a lot of people would address me as ‘Sir’ as my name isn’t known and it isn’t that obvious it’s a female name and when people spoke to me for the first time I would hear the surprise in their voice that I was very obviously female!! The other issue is spelling and pronunciation – a lot of the time I see my name spelled as Moraq, and a lot of people find it difficult to make the short ‘a’ sound, meaning they pronounce my name as ‘Moraag’. I don’t mind this though. Although I must say that the Saudi’s themselves have no problem with the spelling or pronunciation whatsoever.
I guess most people reading are familiar with the story of Nessie, the Loch Ness Monster? Well there is a Morag monster too, living in Loch Morar. Here is a link to an article in The Scotsman newspaper from 2014 – personally I prefer the Mermaid version!!!