That is beyond my ken


The name “Ken” you may know. It is a shorter versión of the name Kenneth. However, “ken” has other uses.

“Ken” is a noun and is derived from the German verb “kennen” (to know someone or get to know someone). Let´s look at some examples of this noun:

  • Economics is beyond the ken of Mr. Podemos. This means that he does not understand economics and has little or no knowledge. Perhaps in Spanish this would be: la economía está más allá del conocimiento del Señor Podemos. So Mr. Podemos is a layman (un lego) when it comes to economics.
  • Were Ricardo to ask me about “nuclear physics” I would say that “nuclear physics is beyond my ken” (…es incomprensible para mi o más allá de mi comprensión).
  • The wonders of creation are beyond human ken (las maravillas de la creación son más allá del saber humano).

“Ken” (a verb) is also used – in Northern England and Scotland, and in literature – to mean “conocer”. An example:

  • Adrián has kenned Mr. Podemos for 10 years (…conoce al Señor Podemos desde hace 10 años). This is the same as “Adrian has known Mr. Podemos for 10 years.

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