Kia Motors America

Mark Mandel thnidu at GMAIL.COM
Tue Apr 29 21:51:52 UTC 2008

On Tue, Apr 29, 2008 at 11:43 AM, Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at> wrote:

> Despite the fact that your characters came=20
> through beautifully, your derivation is mistaken.=20
> "Kia" obviously comes from the Swahili, where it=20
> is a homonym whose two different values are both=20
> relevant.  Nominal "kia" is a lid for covering a=20
> cooking-pot, which the shape of the car clearly=20
> resembles, but there's also an influence from the=20
> unrelated verb "kia", which means 'to step over=20
> (as of a log, etc.)', which alludes to the=20
> compact size of the vehicle.  It's important to=20
> bear in mind that "Kia" is a Class 7-8=20
> [ki/vi-class] noun, and as such its plural is=20
> properly "Via", good to know if Paul is=20
> considering buying more than one.

Oh, I beg to differ. The name is clearly from Esperanto, in which
"kia" is the relative or interrogative pro-adjective. "What kind of a
thing is *that*?"

Mark Mandel
passing the "equal-twenties" through as they came to me

The American Dialect Society -

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