Everything you need to know about the Irish surname Murphy - its meaning, origins, interesting facts and famous people with the last name Murphy.

Irish derivation: Ó Murchadha.

Name meaning: "Descendant of the sea warrior."

Counties associated with the name: Cork, Wexford, Roscommon, and Tyrone.

Coat of arms motto: Brave and hospitable.

Interesting Facts:

  • It's the most common name in Ireland. There are well over 50,000 bearers of the name in Ireland alone.
  • There are more Murphys in the USA than in Ireland.
  • "Murphy's Law" is named after Edward Murphy Jr. It derived from the  US Air Force tried to test human tolerance to acceleration, and the project went awry.
  • The "Murphy Bed" was the name of the concept to put one's bed in the wall to make space for other belongings.
History facebook
IrishCentral History

Love Irish history? Share your favorite stories with other history buffs in the IrishCentral History Facebook group.

Some famous Murphys:

  • Sean O Murchadha na Raithineach (b. 1700 last recognized head of the Blarney bards)
  • Patrick Murphy (b.1834 "tallest man in Europe" at 8'1")
  • Charles Francis Murphy (1858-1924 Tammany Hall leader)
  • Audie Murphy (1924-1971 most decorated World War II vet)
  • Cillian Murphy (1976 Hollywood actor)
  • Róisín Murphy (born 1973, Irish electronica singer, songwriter, and producer)
  • Eddie Murphy (American actor)

* Originally published in 2014, updated in September 2022.

Are you part of the Murphy clan? Let us know in the comments, below!