This name, with variant spellings Scannell, O' Scandall, O' Scannill, (O') Scanlan, and (O') Scanlon, is an anglicized form of the Olde Gaelic O Scannlain. The Gaelic prefix 'O' indicates 'male descendant of', the personal byname Scannlain from 'Scannal' meaning 'contention'. Two distinct septs whose descendants are now known as Scanlon existed in Ireland. One, having the rare prefix 'mac' i.e. Mac Scannlain, held territory in County Louth and gave their name to Ballymascanlon near Dundalk. The name is seldom if ever found in its place of origin now.
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