The Scottish surname Rankine, also found in England and Wales is of patronymic origin, meaning son of or descendent of Rankin, diminutive form of Ronald. The name is originally found in the Hebrides Islands and on the west coast of Scotland. The name Rankine is also found in Ireland, predominantly in the northern province of Ulster where it was brought by Scottish settlers in the 16th and 17th Centuries. A notable bearer of the name Rankine was William John Macquorn Rankine the 19th Century Scottish engineer and physicist.
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