Etymology & Historical Origin of the Baby Name Keenan

Keenan is an Anglicization of the Irish personal name Cianán which is a diminutive of Cian meaning “ancient” in Gaelic. By adding the Irish diminutive suffix “-án” to Cian then Cianán/Keenan basically means “little ancient one”. The name Cian was famously borne by the son-in-law of the early 11th century High King of Ireland Brian Boru. Cian mac Máelmuaid assisted Brian in leading the Irish armies to victory over the Vikings at the Battle of Clontarf. In the Gaelic tongue Cian is either pronounced “KEE-an” or “KEEN” (which is where we get the common surnames Keenan and Keane). Keenan is also sometimes spelled Keenen as in Keenen Ivory Wayans. As a forename, Keenan has shown a measure of successful usage in the United States, Canada and Australia. It also seems African-Americans have taken a liking to this old Irish moniker. The first syllable “Keen” brings a happy, upbeat quality to the name.

All About the Baby Name – Keenan

Personality

OF THE BOY NAME KEENAN

The number Five personality loves the excitement of life and can easily adapt to all situations. As natural adventurers, these personalities thrive on the new and unexpected and prefer to be in constant motion. It makes them feel alive. They'll stir up some action if there's not enough around, and as inherent risk-takers they enjoy pushing the envelope. Naturally rebellious, the Five personality has no fear and never resists change.  Traveling and new experiences feed their souls. Fives are very social and attract friends with ease. People love to be around the Five fun-loving and exciting energy.  This is also a lucky number in numerology (like the Threes), so fortune seems to shine on them, helped along by their own optimism and good-nature. Fives have a quick wit, a cerebral mind, and are generally very persuasive. 

Popularity

OF THE BOY NAME KEENAN

This Irish surname-turned-first-name has existed on the U.S. masculine naming charts since 1958 – longer than we would have guessed. It’s another one of those snappy two syllable Irish surnames that translates nicely into given names (Brogan, Cullen, Keegan, Reagan and Teegan, for instance). In fact, Keenan showed some real promise as it advanced into the 1990s – he got as high as position #354 on the charts in 1997 which is not too shabby considering all the surname competition. If you like this name, but really want to go with your Irish roots, then you might boldly consider Cianán instead (the names are nearly identical in pronunciation).

Quick Facts

ON KEENAN

GENDER:

Boy

ORIGIN:

Irish

NUMBER OF SYLLABLES:

2

RANKING POPULARITY:

949

PRONUNCIATION:

KEE-nәn

SIMPLE MEANING:

Little ancient one

Characteristics

OF KEENAN

Freedom-loving

Adventurous

Adaptable

Intellectual

Easygoing

Progressive

Sensual

Cultural References to the Baby Name – Keenan

Literary Characters

OF THE BABY NAME KEENAN

We cannot find any significant literary characters by the name of Keenan

Popular Songs

ON KEENAN

We cannot find any popular or well-known songs with the name of Keenan


Famous People

NAMED KEENAN

Keenen Ivory Wayans (actor/comic/producer)
Keenan McCardell (football player)
Keenan Wynn (actor)
Keenan Cahill (Internet celebrity)

Children of Famous People

NAMED KEENAN

We cannot find any children of famous people with the first name Keenan

Historic Figures

WITH THE NAME KEENAN

We cannot find any historically significant people with the first name Keenan