Where did the baby name Keir come from in 1963?

Actor Keir Dullea in the movie "David and Lisa" (1962).
Keir Dullea in “David and Lisa

The compact name Keir first appeared in the U.S. baby name data in the early 1960s:

  • 1965: 6 baby boys named Keir
  • 1964: 21 baby boys named Keir
  • 1963: 13 baby boys named Keir [debut]
  • 1962: unlisted
  • 1961: unlisted

The spelling Kier debuted as well.

What was the influence?

Actor Keir Dullea, whose first big movie role was the a lead part in the offbeat romance David and Lisa (1962). He ended up winning a Golden Globe for “Most Promising Newcomer – Male” in early 1963.

He went on to appear in other movies, none more successful than Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), in which he played another David: astronaut David Bowman, who spoke the classic line, “Open the pod bay doors please, HAL.”

His full name is pronounced KEER duh-LAY, which is easy to remember if you think of the Noel Coward witticism, “Keir Dullea, gone tomorrow.” I’m not sure how his parents came up with the name Keir, but it could be an Anglicized form of the Irish name Ciar, which means “black.”

(Keir was also on TV a lot, and once appeared in an episode of the short-lived show Channing — just like Joan Hackett, whose character Djuna Phrayne had a big impact on the baby name Djuna.)

Do you like the name Keir?

Source: Keir Dullea – Wikipedia

3 thoughts on “Where did the baby name Keir come from in 1963?

  1. Love love love this name!! Both spellings (Irish & Anglican)
    Perfect for a boy with thick, unruly, black hair lol
    I have two characters arguing right now over who gets this name for my next story lol I may do a twin variation Keir and Keiril or feminine Keiriel.
    Exciting way to start my Monday!!

  2. My mother pronounces my name Keir-ee. I like it better than the “Carrie” pronunciation, but it’s difficult to get people on board with it. I’ve wondered before if changing my spelling to Keirie or Keerie would make it better or just more confusing.

  3. Kerri, if I were to see your name, I too would say “Carrie”. I’ll have to ask two facebooks friends if they pronounce it Kierie. And yeah, *blushing* If I saw it spelled Keirie, I’d say “Keer-ie” That may just be me though> It could even be pronounced, “Keer-ee-Ehh” as in the Latin phrase, ‘Kyrie Eleison’ (think Mr. Mister from the 80s lol)

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