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.
German, Dutch, and Jewish (Ashkenazic): nickname for a left-handed person, from Middle High German linc, Dutch linker, links, Yiddish link ‘left (side)’. In Europe left-handed people were long regarded with suspicion as clumsy, awkward, deviant, and even untrustworthy.