Transferred use of the surname, originally a northern English and Scottish local name for someone who lived near a church (from Old Norse kirkja). Recent use has probably been influenced to some extent by the film actor Kirk Douglas (b. 1916 as Issur Danielovich Demsky).
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.