Kirkcaldy is a town and former royal burgh in Fife, on the east coast of Scotland. It lies on a shallow bay on the northern shore of the Firth of Forth and is the largest settlement between the cities of Dundee and Edinburgh. The name of the town is believed to have derived from the Pictish language words ' and ' and may translate as"place of the hard fort" or "place of Caled's fort". Kirkcaldy has long been nicknamed the Lang Toun (; Scots language for 'long town') in reference to the 0.9 mile (1.4 km) main street of the early town, depicted so on maps as early as the 16th and 17th centuries. The street would eventually reach a length of four miles (6.4 km). According to an estimate taken in 2008, Kirkcaldy has a population of 48,630, making the town the largest settlement in Fife.
Towards the end of the 11th century, Malcolm III of Scotland purchased the land around the modern town to gift to the monks of the Holy Trinity (now known as Dunfermline Abbey) to fund for the building of their new church. A linear settlement began to form around a harbour on the East Burn. Early industries which soon prospered in the town included the production of Textile industry, nailmaking and salt panning. The passing of feu in the middle of the 15th century meant the town became semi-independent from the monks of Dunfermline Abbey. Full independence was achieved by a charter for royal burgh status granted by Charles II of England in 1644.
During the late 19th century, the town became a prosperous centre of linoleum. Originally developed in the town as floorcloth, this was quickly dominated by the Michael Nairn& Co but did not become popular across a worldwide scale until the beginning of the 20th century. Other industries such as coal, flour, malt, printing, light electrical engineering and furniture manufacturing rose in prominence. After the Second World War, a plan saw new housing estates being built to the north-west of the town along with multi-storey flats and the redevelopment of older areas such as Gallatown, Sinclairtown and Pathhead. The population of the town was expected to reach between 55,000 and 70,000, but this never materialised as the production of linoleum, the town's primary industry, declined in the middle of the 1960s.
Today, the town is a major service centre for the central Fife area. Kirkcaldy is home to an Kirkcaldy Museum and Art Gallery, a large ice rink, three large public parks (Beveridge, Dunnikier and Ravenscraig), two golf courses, a swimming pool, major shopping facilities and the annual Links Market; Europe's longest street fair. The Adam Smith College also has a presence in the town with two campuses (St Brycedale and Priory). Employment is now focused in the service sector, with the largest employer being MGT. Other large employers in the town include Victoria Hospital (Kirkcaldy), Forbo-Nairn (floor coverings), Kingdom Bakeries (food and drink)and Kingdom Homes Ltd (residential and Nursing Homes).