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Irish: reduced Anglicized form of Gaelic Ó Cathaláin ‘descendant of Cathalán’, a personal name representing a diminutive of Cathal (see Cahill) Irish and Scottish: Anglicized form of Gaelic Mac Ailin, a patronymic from an old Gaelic personal name derived from ail ‘rock’.

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Irish and Scottish: Anglicized form of Gaelic Mac Cailin ‘son of Cailin’ (see Collin). The meaning of Callans come may come from a profession, such as the name "Bishop" which may have been taken by church officials. Some of these craft-based last names might be a profession in some other language. Because of this it is essential to know the nationality of a name, and the languages spoken by it's progenitors. Many western names like Callans originate from religious texts such as the Bhagavadgītā, the Bible, the Quran, etc. In many cases these family names relate to a religious expression such as "Favored of God".

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