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 maker of objects of wood, metal, or bone by turning on a lathe, from Anglo-Norman French torner (Old French tornier, Latin tornarius, a derivative of tornus ‘lathe’). The surname may also derive from any of various other senses of Middle English turn, for example a turnspit, a translator or interpreter, or a tumbler.