St. Quivox?

A comment from The Mrs. last month prompted me to search for people named Grizabella, and I found several — one of whom was born in a curiously named parish in Ayrshire, Scotland: St. Quivox.

St. Quivox? Was there really a Scottish saint named Quivox?

Here’s an explanation from the St. Quivox parish website:

It has long been recognised by historians that the name “St Quivox” is somewhat obscure. The original name of the church was “Sanchar-in-Kyle” and was dedicated to St Kevoca or Sancta Kevoca, Patroness of Kyle, who lived in the eleventh century and was distinguished for her zeal in promoting monastic institutions. The name changed several times and appears as St Kenockis, St Cavocks and St Evox which name persisted until at least the 18th century.

But here’s the problem: it’s doubtful that a female saint named Kevoca ever existed.

She’s probably based on a male saint from Ireland called Caemhog (pron. “keevog”) or Mochaemhog (the prefix mo- is an honorific).

I’m not sure about the etymology of Caemhog, but it does remind me of the name Caoimhe, which is based on the Gaelic word caomh, meaning “gentle” or “kind.”

What do you think of the name Quivox? (Do you think it’s usable as a baby name?)

Source: Mackinlay, James Murray. Influence of the Pre-reformation Church on Scottish Place-names. Edinburgh: William Blackwood and Sons, 1904.

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