Dr. Cleveland Evans writes about names for the Omaha World-Herald. In his July 4th column, he looks at the history of the name Simon.
Tuesday we can join Simon again in the World of Mages.
“Any Way the Wind Blows”, the third book in Nebraska author Rainbow Rowell’s young adult series about young mage Simon Snow, will be released July 6. It promises to “tell secrets, answer questions, and lay ghosts to rest.”
Simon was originally a Greek name meaning “flat-nosed.” It was used in first-century Palestine as the Greek form of Hebrew Shim’on, “he has heard,” a common name among Jews. Nine Simons are found in the New Testament, including apostle Simon the Zealot; Simon of Cyrene, who carried Jesus’ cross; and Simon Peter, later the first Pope.
In England, the name’s fame was reinforced by Simon Stock (1165-1265), a Carmelite monk whose visions of the Virgin Mary earned him veneration as a saint.
Simon ranked 13th in England around 1380, leading to Sims, Simpson, Symonds, etc., being common surnames.