I found the following information on the web. I have no idea who the original source is and thus cannot attest to accuracy. But it is interesting ...
"According to one subscriber who has studied and written on the subject, the MURDOCH(K) surnames represent a merged evolution from ancient Gaelic origins - with both forms considered to be of Scottish origin. Those carrying this surname who are/have been found in Ireland are believed to be descendants of MURDOCH(K)'s that moved there during and after the Planation period.
The oldest form is that of MURDOCH where the "och" is the same as that found in the Scot's word for lake, "Loch", as in Loch Ness. The MURDOCK derivation of the surname is the Anglicized version that developed following the ascension of James VI (of Scotland ?) as James I of England.
Today there are still more MURDOCH's than MURDOCK's in Scotland.
In Ireland the name sometimes retained the "ough" form ... again the word for Lake, as in Lough Neagh. This Irish form of the name developed into the modern MURTOUGH and/or MURTAUGH.
The MURDUCK variant has been noted from the early 1500's in London and East Anglia in England, and several derivative spellings have been found within this group, such as: MARDOCK, MURDACK, MURDICK, MUDDOCK, MOORDOCK, MUTTOCK, MADDOCK, MATTOCK, MADDIX, etc., as well as the much more common MURDOCK and MURDOCH spellings that were often incorrectly written by well meaning clerks in the urban areas.
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