This interesting name has three possible origins, firstly it may be an Anglicized form of the Gaelic Irish 'O'an Chaintighe' which derives from 'cainteach' meaning satirical, hence, 'descendant of a satirist'. It is the name of a bardic family who came from West Cork. One Fearfasa O'Canty was a well known poet in the early 17th Century. In the census of 1659, the name Canty is given as one of the principal names in the barony of Kilnalmeaky, County Cork. The sept spread in to the neighbouring counties of Limerick and Kerry, where the name is now mainly found.
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