* NOTICE: Mr. Center's Wall is on indefinite hiatus. Got something to say about it? Click HERE and type.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


Names interest me.  Not so much the "phoneminal" (or "phonemical," for that matter) inventions of creatively-minded and unwittingly cruel parents, but those entrenched in linguistic history.  Kim, namesake for our current book, is one such name.  (all references from www.behindthename.com)

KIM (1)
GenderFeminine & Masculine
PronouncedKIM  [key]
At the present it is usually considered a short form of KIMBERLY, but it in fact predates it as a given name. It was used by the author Rudyard Kipling for the title hero of his novel 'Kim' (1901), though in this case it was short for KIMBALL. In her novel 'Show Boat' (1926) Edna Ferber used it for a female character who was born on the Mississippi River and was named from the initials of the states Kentucky, Illinois and Mississippi. The name was popularized in America by the actresses Kim Hunter (1922-2002) and Kim Novak (1933-), both of whom assumed it as a stage name.

and, though far less likely:

KIM (2)
Gender: Masculine
Scandinavian short form of JOACHIM


Gender: Masculine
Usage: English
Pronounced: KIM-bəl  [key]
From a surname which was derived from either the Welsh given name Cynbel meaning "chief war" or the Old English given name Cynebald meaning "royal boldness".


Gender: Masculine
Pronounced: zho-a-KEEM (French), YO-ah-khim (German), yo-AH-khim (German), yaw-AH-kheem (Polish), JO-ə-kim (English)  [key]
Contracted form of JEHOIACHIN or JEHOIAKIM. According to the apocryphal Gospel of James, Saint Joachim was the husband of Saint Anne and the father of the Virgin Mary. Due to his popularity in the Middle Ages, the name came into general use in Christian Europe (though it was never common in England).

Other Scriptsיְהוֹיָכִין (Ancient Hebrew)
Means "established by YAHWEH" in Hebrew. In the Old Testament this was the name of a king of Judah who was imprisoned in Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar.

Other Scriptsיְהוֹיָקִים (Ancient Hebrew)
Means "raised by YAHWEH" in Hebrew. In the Old Testament this was the name of a king of Judah, the father of Jehoiachin.


  1. Cool stuff. The Tigers have a player named Joaquin Benoit. I wonder if his first name is a variant of Joachim.

  2. I would bet that they're connected. I think it's actually easier to trace linguistic history through names than through "regular ol' words," because there are relatively fewer of them; the connections show up with a little more solidarity. Any time I write new main characters--or, well, before I put them to "press" --I can't help but go through etymologies trying to fnid just the right one. Milla's first and middle names are much more significant than her last name. I expect Jason's will change before the end. Eugene Cross was the very first item of his story before I had even a plot idea. I'm probably wrong assuming that all author's do the same thing, but I'm sure I'm not the only one.


Be sure to subscribe to the thread to receive discussion updates.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...