Kimberly (given name)

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Pronunciation /ˈkɪmbərli/
Gender Feminine or Masculine
Language(s) English
Language(s) English
Word/name Kimberley, in Northern Cape, South Africa
Other names
Variant form(s) Kimberlee, Kimberleigh, Kimberli, Kimberlie (all feminine); Kimberley (unisex)[1]
Short form(s) Kim
See also Kimberley (surname)

Kimberly is a unisex given name originated from a South African place. The name was derived from an English title, which was in turn derived from an English place name. A variant spelling of the name is Kimberley, borne by both males and females. The form Kimberly is more common in North America than Kimberley. The given name Kim was originally a short form of Kimberley, but it is now established as an independent name in its own right; this name is also borne by both males and females.[1]

Origin of the given name[edit]

The given name Kimberley is derived from place, Kimberley, in Northern Cape, South Africa. This South African place name was named after a Lord Kimberley in the 19th century.[1] At the end of the 19th century, this place was the scene of fighting and a British victory during the Second Boer War, and consequently the given name was popularised in the English-speaking world.

The name of Lord Kimberley's title is derived from Kimberley, in Norfolk, England. This place name is derived from two Old English elements: the first is the feminine personal name Cyneburg; the second element is lēah, meaning "wood" or "clearing".[1][2] The place name roughly means: the "woodland clearing of Cyneburg". This place name was recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 as Chineburlai.[2] The Old English personal name Cyneburg means "royal-fortress".[citation needed]


Kimberly is a given name with many variants. Kimberley is used for males and females, while Kimberlee, Kimberleigh, Kimberli and Kimberlie are common feminine variant forms.[1]

The variant Kym is also common with males.

The common Korean surname Kim is not related to Kimberly.

People with this name[edit]

Fictional characters[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e Hanks, Patrick; Hardcastle, Kate; Hodges, Flavia (2006), A Dictionary of First Names, Oxford Paperback Reference (2nd ed.), Oxford: Oxford University Press, p. 159, ISBN 978-0-19-861060-1 
  2. ^ a b Kimberley,, retrieved 8 December 2010  which cited: Mills, A. D. (2003), A Dictionary of British Place-Names, Oxford University Press