A visual meditation on the couple of things the name “Kylén” would’ve meant to my gr-gr-grandfather, Sven Andersson, when he received it as his soldatennamen (soldier name) when he served in the Swedish Army, probably sometime between 1842 and 1849. Through an incredibly nice guy in Sweden who has it as a last name (for the same reason that Sven’s daughter had it as her last name; ie, his ancestor was given it as a nickname in the army) I learned that it was a word meaning thigh-bone, from the German “Keule”, which has the meaning of “cudgel”, as in a “club”, like a fighting stick. He shared this info with me after consulting an etymology dictionary from the 1800s himself! Cuz up to that point (w/out knowing each other) we both DID know that today, “Kylén” is the word in Sweden for “the fridge”. Yeah yeah, all very funny, but what the hell did it mean in 1842, 80 years before “the fridge” was invented? The legbone-as-weapon sounded pretty good.
But then I looked up more stuff and it might just as well have simply meant “chill”, along the lines of “cold snap” or “icy blast of air”, “coldness”. Imagine a battaliion of 50 guys, the seargent at Axevalla (the garrison where my, and the ancestor of this Swedish fellow I just mentioned, were both stationed [some 30 years apart, though]) barks out a few soldiers’ names: “Sword! Thunder! Evergreen! Lightning!…Chill?…Stick? Cudgel? Coldness? Icy Chill?
<sigh … or is that “brrrrr!”>
So it looks like the quest continues. Here I go trying to find a native Swedish speaker who also happens to know rather a lot about the military history of his country that hasn’t had or been in a war for 200 years, and a bit about the evolution of his language. lol In the meantime, here’s the picture I made about it all.
So, until later; I’ll just be chillin’ da mos’ all up in here at Club Kylén…