A reader named John recently commented:
Just stumbled on your site on a quest to name our second son, who is now a week old. Have you ever heard of the boy’s name Keefe? We like it but think it is just too rare, and he will forever be correcting people who think he has a lisp or will assume it is “Keith”. I’d be interested in your thoughts.
I think you’re right to be concerned about the potential Keefe/Keith confusion. The first few times I said Keefe out loud, I couldn’t shake the feeling I was saying Keith incorrectly.
Once I got used to Keefe, though, I began to appreciate it. The name is simple, distinctive, masculine, and has a cool definition (it’s derived from caomh, a Gaelic word meaning ‘gentle’ or ‘kind’).
My only other worry with Keefe is that it rhymes with brief, chief, grief, thief, and several other words that could inspire schoolyard taunting (e.g. “Where’s the beef, Keefe?”).
I definitely don’t think Keefe’s drawbacks make the name unusable, but I do think that pairing a unique name like this with a more common middle (something that could be used as a backup, if necessary) would be wise.
I hope this helps, John!