Pet form of Margaret. Variant of Meg, The reason for the alternation of M- and P-, which occurs also in Molly/Polly, is not known; it has been ascribed to Celtic influence, but this particular alternation does not correspond to any of the usual mutational patterns in Celtic languages.
English and Welsh: patronymic from the Middle English personal name Jon(e) (see John). The surname is especially common in Wales and southern central England. In North America this name has absorbed various cognate and like-sounding surnames from other languages. (For forms, see Hanks and Hodges 1988).