It was quiz night at the Dolphin tonight, and as we did last week,we sat next to a group of friends who we’ve nick-named the Boltons because they come from Bolton. A non-Boltonian friend of theirs is called Keith. I’m not sure how old he is, probably in his sixties or seventies and I began to ponder on his name.

When I was at school there was the occasional boy called Keith, but it wasn’t that popular – none of my friends were called Keith,although I do remember there was a Keith living next door to us who would have been my parents’ age. When I became a teacher, throughout my career there were Keith… not masses of them, but a few every year. I know it mainly as a first name, but of course there are plenty of families called Keith.

Keith is originally a Scottish name, it was a Celtic name meaning something to do with woods or forests and seems to originate as a name in the eastern side of Scotland,particularly Aberdeenshire. However, it is also a place-name; it comes from a Cumbric form of the Modern Welsh coed, wood. Now Cumbric, not Cambric or Cumbrian, is an old Brittonic language – a language spoken in ancient Britain among certain tribes.

I think Keith is one of those ageless names which will last fr ever and never date. I looked at Keiths on Wikipedia:

  • 8 TV and film Keiths
  • 4 art and literature Keiths
  • 3 famous fictional Keiths
  • 23 music Keiths
  • 28 sporty Keiths
  • 17 other Keiths

 I nearly killed Keith by John and Wayne

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