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Type Surname (from given name)
Usage English
Pronounced Pron. /'pım/  [key·IPA]
Other Forms FormsPim, Pimme, Pymm

Meaning & History

Recorded in several forms including Pim, Pimm, Pimme, Pym, and Pymm, this is a surname which at various times has been prominent in the history of England. The name itself is of medieval English (Anglo-Saxon) origin. It derives from the medieval female given name, 'Pymme/Pymma' (from ‘Phemie’) which is a shortened/nickname or pet form of ‘εϋφημα’ (Euphemia/Eufemia), a Greek name, introduced into Europe by the returning Crusaders of the 11th century. The surname Pym referred to the son of Euphemia which belongs to the category of patronymic surnames. Composed of the elements 'EU', meaning 'well', and 'phone' meaning ‘to speak’, the name was adopted by Christians, who used it in the sense of 'praise God' or 'good repute’ (well-spoken-of or to speak well of). This Greek word is found at Philippians 4:8 (strong’s No: 2163 - Well spoken of, i.e reputable - of Good report)
The name is said to have been borne by a 4th-century martyr, but its popularity is much later. As a personal name, it is first recorded in England in 1204, when 'Pimme, the son of Sirith' appears in the Pipe Rolls of for the county of Staffordshire, and later in 1246, Pimme, the forester, is recorded in the Assize Court Rolls of Lancashire. Other early recordings include Edmund Pymme of Wakefield, Yorkshire in the citizen's roll of 1307. John Pym (1584 - 1643), was regarded as the leading parliamentarian of his day, and chief opponent of King Charles 1st (1600 - 1649). Had Pym lived, he may well have occupied the place in history held by Oliver Cromwell. Other famous name holders include the brothers Sir Samuel and Sir William Pym, the first an admiral, the second the Army Inspector-General of Hospitals between the years 1800 and 1850. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Henry Pimme, which was dated 1250, in the Fines Rolls of Nottinghamshire. This was during the reign of King Henry 111rd of England but known as 'The Frenchman', 1216-1272.
Added 12/20/2017 by lexpym
Edited 2/13/2020 by Mike C, SeaHorse15 and lexpym