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 and Scottish: from Maurice, an Old French personal name introduced to Britain by the Normans, Latin Mauritius, a derivative of Maurus (see Moore). This was the name of several early Christian saints. In some cases it may be a nickname of the same derivation for someone with a swarthy complexion.