Of Scottish origin: Anglicized form of two different Gaelic names, Cinaed and Cainnech. The former was the Gaelic name of Kenneth mac Alpin (d. 858), first king of the united Picts and Scots. The latter survives today in Scotland as the common Gaelic name Coinneach. Since early in the 20th century Kenneth has been in regular use and enjoyed great popularity as a given name well beyond the borders of Scotland.
English: topographic name for someone who lived near a ford, Middle English, Old English ford, or a habitational name from one of the many places named with this word, such as Ford in Northumberland, Shropshire, and West Sussex, or Forde in Dorset.