About Kris Duggan

This is a site devoted to all the people in the world named Kris Duggan. There’s more of them than you’d think!

What Does “Duggan” Mean, Anyway?

The name Duggan is originally from the Irish name O Dubhagain. Dubh means “black” or “dark” in the original Gaelic. The precise origins of the surname are unclear, but it appears to have been in regular use for at least the better part of a thousand years. More on that below.

Okay, How’s It Spelled?

The most common spelling of “Duggan” is just that: Duggan. However, alternative spellings are particularly common in Ireland, Scotland, and England; it’s not uncommon to see “Doogan” or “Dugan” on post boxes in many parts of the British Isles.

The spelling of the first name — Kris — isn’t universal, either. Many so-called “Kris Duggans” go by “Christopher” or “Chris,” whether by birth or preference. Women with variations of the name “Kris Duggan” may go by “Chris” or “Christina” as well. In some parts of the world, perhaps including yours, the “Ch” spellings are more common than the “original” Kris.

What About “Kris” (Or “Chris”)?

The name “Kris” is a story in and of itself. Far more common on the western shores of the pond, “Kris” is an American name that can be used for either gender. It’s often a shortened version of a name like Kristopher or Kristin — names that reveal little about the ethnic or cultural backgrounds of their bearers. One thing’s for sure: these days, not every “Kris Duggan” is chiefly of Irish descent.

As for the “Chrises” of the Kris Duggan clan, their names have an equally interesting backstory. Naming buffs know that “Christopher” is the English version of the virtually pan-European name derived from the old Greek Christoforos, which has been in wide use since the early Middle Ages. In the Greek vernacular, the name “Christoforos” literally means “Christ-bearer,” imbuing the name with religious significance for practicing Christians. Today, of course, Christopher Duggans of all faiths (and no faith at all) happily wear their names on their sleeves.

And “Chris”? As you’ve probably guessed, Chris is the most common shortening of the names “Christopher” and “Christina.” Some would-be Chris Duggans prefer to go by “Cris,” especially if their full names take the less common “Cristopher” spelling. 

Wow — who knew the world of Kris, Chris, Cris, and Christopher/Christina Duggans held such variety?

The First Duggans

But the first Duggans were indeed proud denizens of the Emerald Isle.

Let’s back up. The first “Duggans” weren’t Duggans at all — they went by “Dugan.”

The Dugan clan originally hailed from the area around the town of Fermoy, in County Cork. Fermoy sits on the banks of the River Blackwater; it’s possible, though far from certain, that the first members of the extended Dugan clan took inspiration for their names from the river’s murky waters.

The most prominent early Duggans were bards and poets. Sean Mor O Dubhagain, the writer of an epic poem extolling the virtues of pre-contact Ireland, was particularly famous. Sean Mor also wrote a host of poems and treatises about the nobility and royalty of Ireland and England in the early to middle medieval periods.

By the 14th century, the O Dubhagains — henceforth known as the Dugans — had amassed considerable wealth and were in a position to exert influence over a substantial swathe of their home region.

As the political landscape of Ireland changed, local families’ prominence waned somewhat. By the 19th and early 20th centuries, “Dugan” was just another Irish surname, the greatest incidence of which was to be found in and around the city of Galway.

The mid 19th century saw dramatic internal migration within Ireland due to economic turmoil and famine. Meanwhile, the Irish diaspora expanded around the globe, most notably to the port cities of eastern North America. These dual trends did more to raise the Dugan clan’s profile than the efforts of any individual member. Today, you’re just as likely to find a Dugan — or Duggan, if you’re in North America — in Boston or Chicago as in Cork or Dublin.

Join Your Fellow Kris Duggans

Enough backstory. If your name is Kris Duggan, this website is for you. Regardless of your cultural background, gender identity, or hometown, you’re part of an exclusive (but growing) club of people with something in common.