Big changes have come to — all content is now read-only, and member subscriptions and the Shop have been discontinued.
Learn more

Chat | Daily Search | My GenForum | Community Standards | Terms of Service
Jump to Forum
Home: Surnames: Cunniff Family Genealogy Forum

Post FollowupReturn to Message ListingsPrint Message

Cunniff/Kenniff means Black Hound
Posted by: Sallyanne Mallen Date: January 03, 2002 at 15:51:18
  of 168

The name comes from the Irish Mac Conduibh. Mac mean "son of" and demands that words following it appear in the possessive (genitive) case. Conduibh derives from con, which is the possessive form of cu (accent written over the u) meaning "hound;" duibh is the possessive form of dubh meaning "black." Thus the name means "black hound."
In some Irish dialects when two words come together as they do in conduibh, the second word may have the sound of its initial letters altered. One such alteration is called aspiration and denotes when an /h/sound is added to the beginning of a word and the loss of some other initial sound. In our surname, letter d of duibh sometimes in not sounded. This is why some of the anglicized versions are Cuniff and Kenniff. In many of the Connacht area dialects, the aspiration does not occur, the sound of letter d comes through, as in Mac Adoo and Mac Endoo.
The ending of duibh, bh is sometimes pronounced like /v/, which can be altered to /f/, sometimes like /w/, or sometimes dropped as in MacAdoo.
Name variation:Conniff, Cunniff, Cunniffe, Conniffe, Coniff, MacNiff, MacAddo, McAdoo, MacCunniffe, MacCuniff, MacEndo, MacEndoo, McNiff, McIndoo, MacIndoo and McNeff

No followups yet

Post FollowupReturn to Message ListingsPrint Message
Search this forum:

Search all of GenForum:

Proximity matching
Add this forum to My GenForum Agreement of Use
Link to GenForum
Add Forum
Home |  Help |  About Us |  Site Index |  Jobs |  PRIVACY |  Affiliate
© 2007 The Generations Network