Kal-El — superman

i don’t follow comic or the shows that depict certain comic themes, so it’s not a surprise that i’ve never heard of superman having the birthname kal-el (or kal-L). it didn’t take me long to question the origins of the name.

a brief search of the name on google proved nothing but other sites to superman. now, although i am still clueless, i know that the creator(s) could not have randomly created the name; there’s always a reason and a structure to these kinds of things (even of made up languages).

but here’s what i did find: there also exists jor-L (jor-el) and Lora (Lara). so we have three made-up names.

  1. Kal-El
  2. Jor-El
  3. Lora

the third one is obvious, but the other two are troubling. there is definitely something more in the morphology of that name than is apparent now. how it would be parsed i don’t know. what appears to be apparent is that el is a separate morpheme; no doubt about it. now, whether “Kal” would be k-al or ka-l, it’s hard to tell with only three (it’s really only two since lora doesn’t have the same qualities as the other two) names to go off of.

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One Response to Kal-El — superman

  1. Theodore says:

    Well, there are lots of other names such as Don-El, Van-Zee and Ak-Var. (Kandorians) and of course there is Kara Zor-El. Which rather suggests that on Krypton it used to be a tradition that at least single lasses would use the full name of their sire to indicate the name of the family they belonged to, while mated/married women like lara just use there first name. From that we can conclude that Superman is a child from a culture which has preserved at least the naming traditions from a patrilocal phase in its history.

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