kimberley


noun

  1. a city in E Cape of Good Hope province, in the central Republic of South Africa: diamond mines.
  2. Also Kim·ber·ly. a female given name.

noun

  1. a city in central South Africa; the capital of Northern Cape province: besieged (1899–1900) for 126 days during the Boer War; diamond-mining and -marketing centre, with heavy engineering works. Pop: 62 526 (2001)
  2. Also called: the Kimberleys a plateau region of NW Australia, in N Western Australia: consists of rugged mountains surrounded by grassland. Area: about 360 000 sq km (140 000 sq miles)

South African city, founded 1871; also region in northwest Australia; both named for John Wodehouse, 1st Earl of Kimberley, who was British secretary of state for the colonies; the earldom is from a place in Norfolk, England (the name alsi is found in Nottinghamshire, Warwickshire). The second element is Old English leah “meadow, clearing in a woodland” (see lea), the first reflect various Old English personal names; the one in Norfolk appears first as Chineburlai (1086) and seems to be “clearing of a woman called Cyneburg.”

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