Medieval History/etymology of Kivrin


Matt wrote at 2011-12-28 06:09:16
In case anyone else happens to look this up, since it appears to be the chief Google result on the name -

The character in the novel, Kivrin, originates from the 2050s.  She travels back in time to the 1300s and inadvertently falls ill.  When asked her name, she mistakenly tells them Kivrin (instead of the planned Isabella), which sounds close enough to Katherine in their heavily accented dialect of Middle English to satisfy them that that's her name.  I don't think it's meant to be implied that Kivrin is actually a form of Katherine, especially since this catches the character (who, despite having learned Middle English among other preparations, has a lot of difficulty with their accents) by surprise.  Also, the same author names another female character (also from the 2050s in the same universe in a very hilarious book called To Say Nothing of the Dog) Verity.  Although an actual word in this case, that name has no significant usage in modern times as a name.

Therefore, I believe the name Kivrin is meant to be a wholly fictional name from the future setting.  It sounds pretty enough, and can presumably be twisted into Katherine in suitably accented Middle English.

Timothy S Purvis wrote at 2013-02-25 06:00:51
The previous explanation of Kivrin might work if not for the fact that there IS a history of the usage of the name Kivrin. I saw somewhere else that it is used almost exclusively in Ireland these days, however I have seen the name in an author and others around the internet who are considerably older than the Doomsday Book. Whatever the origin of Kivrin, it is a real name.

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Marc Aperio


I'll be glad to answer any question related to Medieval Europe, the Byzantine Empire, and the rise of Islam and Christianity during the period 300-1500.


I've studies history for nearly 20 years. I'm currently also volunteering in the US and European history catergories.

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BA History (High Honors)

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