This name derives from the lands of Dunlop in Cunningham, Ayrshire. The original meaning was the fort (dun) at a muddy place (Lapach) from the old, pre-10th century Gaelic. The Dunlops remained in this area since around the 13th Century.
The name was pronounced locally as locally as Dulap or Delap. It was also sometimes spelled this way. An example of this pronunciation being written down as it was pronounced is Neel Fitz Robert de Dullope in 1296. This translates as Neil, the son of (Fitz) Robert of Dunlop, who in that year rendered homage to the Scottish revolutionary government. Later in the same year he is recorded as Nel de Dunlopp, when he appeared as a witness on an inquest into the ownership of lands in Berwick. He was probably the original holder of the ancient coat of arms granted to Dunlop around 1300, this being a red two headed eagle displayed, on a (silver) white field.
Early examples of the recording of the name Dunlop include Constantine Dunlop of that Ilk in the Buccleuch Manuscripts of 1496, and William Dunlop the Elder, who it is recorded having emigrated to Carolina in 1680, before returning to Scotland to become Principal of Glasgow University in 1690. He died in 1700 at the age of only fifty one. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Dom Gullelmus de Dunlop, which was dated 1260, a charter witness at the town of Irvine, Scotland, during the reign of King Alexander III of Scotland (1249 – 1286) - main image.
The name is today very popular in the America and Canada, although the spelling form has almost reverted to the original dialectal of the middle ages being found usually as Dalape, Dunlap or Dunlape.