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: occupational name for a tailor, from Old French tailleur (Late Latin taliator, from taliare ‘to cut’). The surname is extremely common in Britain and Ireland, and its numbers have been swelled by its adoption as an Americanized form of the numerous equivalent European names, most of which are also very common among Ashkenazic Jews, for example Schneider, Szabó, and Portnov.