This interesting surname recorded in several forms including McRae, MacRae, Rae, Ree, and Rea, is of Medieval Scottish origin, although there can be confusion with English nameholder of similar spellings. The derivation is from the pre 7th century Old English 'ra'. This word described the roe deer, and when used as a nickname was on the face of it, a description for a rather timid person. However the developed sense of humour of the medieval period was to say the least robust, and 'nicknames' often meant the reverse of what they appeared to describe.
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