le Kaburne 1418 NLS Adv. MS 34.6.24, pp. 440–1
lie Kaburne 1566 RSS v ii no. 2738
lie Kaburne 1595 RMS vi no. 338
Keburn 1654 Blaeu (Pont) East Fife [shown as a settlement with a building symbol]
Key Burn 1992 Mr Addison-Scott [oral information]
? Sc kae + Sc burn
This may contain Sc kae (also ka) ‘jackdaw’, referring to a sound it made which resembled the jackdaw’s distinctive call; or to the fact that it flowed through a wood where these birds nested.
This first appears as one of the marches of Pittencrieff CUP (which see for full details), and clearly refers to the burn which rises on the lands of Foodie DAE, runs between Kinloss House and Kinloss Farm (formerly Springfield), then near the site of the medieval parish kirk of Cupar, to join OS Pathf. Lady Burn at the above NGR. In the same boundary description, the Lady Burn appears to be called the *Cupar Burn (Cuperburne 1595).
In 1992 I visited Kinloss House and spoke to Mr Addison-Scott, whose grandfather had bought the estate (then called Springfield) c.1887. He knew the burn by his house as the Lady Burn, and OS Pathf. Lady Burn as the Key Burn. This must be the modern reflex of Kaburne, but it has moved slightly from its earliest recorded referent.
This place-name appeared in printed volume 4