tags:  Semitic pun spook name · name   —   by Gerry · Aug 2019 · 450 words

The spook name Kimball and its surname variants Kimble & Ball seem to be a Phoenician name: קימבעל Kim-Baal. Officially, this name is only attested in Biblical El-forms like קמואל Kemu-El or אליקים Elia-Kim.

The name Kimball looks like a Baal, walks like a Baal, quacks like a Baal, so it probably is a Baal.

Biblical El-names with √qm

There are many Biblical names with Aramaic קים qym, Hebrew קום qwm, of the same root קם √qm.

Phoenician names with √qm

Since Biblical names & Phoenician names were fundamentally the same, similar names can also be found in Phoenician inscriptions. Frank Benz lists the following name variants for the root קם √qm:

QM qwm “to rise, stand”

Qal pf. in ˀBQM, cf. vocalized names below and parallels; and perhaps Yiphil ptcp. in the other (Harris, 142). On this ptcp. formation cf. the Nabatean names mqmˀl, mqymw, Gr. Μοκιμος, Μοκειμος (Cooke, 78.2), and the P title or office mqm ˀlm in CIS 227, 260-62, 377, 3351, 3352, 3788; RES 13, 360, 537, 553, 554, 1569, and in the NP insc. Cooke 57.4 myqm ˀlm. For discussion of the n. mqm in Ph-P see Février, CB 9 (1960-61), 33-36; Dahood, Biblica 43 (1962), 360. On occurrences see Dict., 165. For parallels see IPN, 176, 200-201; PTU, 178; APNM, 259.

  1. MQM
  2. ˀBQM

A-ḫi-ya-qa-a-mu APN 16; Aḫi-qu-mu ADD 531 R 4.

Benz, Frank: Personal Names in the Phoenician and Punic Inscriptions

Biblical El-names corresponding to Phoenician Baal-names

Many Biblical El-names like חניאל Hanni-El or its reverse אלחנן El-Hanan have occurred outside the Bible as Baal-names such as חניבעל Hanni-Baal and its reverse בעלחנן Baal-Hanan. We can thus well imagine that Kemu-El also had a Baal form, like the others.

Yiddish spelling of Kimball as Kim-Baal

Interestingly, the Yiddish spelling for Kimball is קימבעל qymbˁl with Ayin, exactly how the Phoenicians would have spelled it. This is unusual, since A as in ball is typically spelled with Aleph. It may be that this Latin spelling for Kimball developed out of Phoenician spelling, or that some spook just felt playful here.

ווערנאן שילינגער (דזשאנאטאן קימבעל סימאנס), דער פירער פון דער ארישער ברודערשאפט

Vernon Shillinger (Jonathan Kimble Simmons), the leader of the Aryan brotherhood

Yiddish Wikipedia: Oz TV series

Meaning of √qm

The meaning of the root קם qm is “lift” or “standing”, which can be interpreted as an aristocratic birth or title.

tags:  Semitic pun spook name · name