Laurent Maguire


Since the launch of Kyanmedia, our choice of company name has, for one reason or another, aroused great interest. I am frequently asked where the name comes from, and why we chose it. Having recited the story many times over the past five years, I thought that I would post the definitive account here, in the Kyanmedia blog, for anyone who cares to know.

Whenever I’m asked “So, why Kyanmedia?”, I usually sigh, then begin with “It was Piers who came up with the name, and it derives from the Ancient Greek word kyanos.”

The Ancient Greeks didn’t have a particular word for blue, but they used the word kyanos to denote the colour ‘dark blue’. The modern Greek word cyan is the name for a number of colours covering the blue – green aspect of the colour spectrum.

While it was the Ancient Greeks that inspired the name of our company, I have done a little background research and found some other barers of the ‘Kyan’ name.

The most famous person I can find called Kyan is Chotoku Kyan . Kyan was a Japanese Karate master born in 1870, who became famous for his Karate skills, as well as his colourful private life. Interesting parts of his Wikipedia profile include:

“A fan of cockfighting, Kyan apparently was able to cut his way though
a hostile mob one-handed, without having to put down his pet rooster.”


“It is also believed that Kyan taught his students that hard drinking
and hiring prostitutes was an essential part of martial arts training.”

Honestly, I’m not making this up! Other Kyans that I came across include:

John Howard Kyan who, in 1832, invented a new process of preserving wood which now bares his name – Kyanising .

And, Kyanite is a blue crystalline mineral that’s used primarily in ceramic products .

For us, it was about starting something fresh and new, and Kyanmedia just seemed to fit.

Oh, and we have now dropped the media, so it’s just Kyan now.

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Comments: 3

commented on

Good idea for naming of the site?

John Peter Kyan
commented on

Other notable bearer of the Kyan surname:

Kyan, Esmonde (1750–1798), Irish nationalist. One of the gallant men of 1798, who gave his life for Ireland on the scaffold for his part in the rising in Wexford.

The Kyan family, descendants of the linage from Ireland continue to this day living in the UK and Australia.

We are if the same lineage as John Howard Kyan (inventor of the process of Kyanization) who was descended from the Kyans of Ballymurtagh:

Frances, m. in 1735, to Howard Kyan, Esq. of Mount Howard, co Wexford, and Ballymurtagh, co. Wicklow, and had issue,
1 John-Howard Kyan, Esq. of Mount Howard and Ballymurtagh,
2 James Kyan,
3 Esmonde Kyan, who 'lost his life in the rebellion of 1798 and
4 Major-General Francis Kyan, who d. in 1814,

Another link in the Kyan family line:
Father Alexander Kyan, a member of the Tullabeg community in the 1840's, was born in Calcutta, the son of an army officer, and spent his boyhood in the east. But one wonders whether his pupils at Tullabeg recognised that his family name had already passed into history. For he was the nephew of Esmonde Kyan, one of the gallant men of '98, who gave his life for Ireland on the scaffold for his part in the rising in Wexford. Later, Father Kyan went back to India where he laboured for a time. He returned, however, to the land of his ancestors and became one of the best-known of the Jesuit missioners in the last century.

John Howard Kyan emigrated to England following the collapse of his Fathers mine in Ireland. One of the major problems was wood rot. This caused him to set his mind to finding a cure for wood rot. This was the time when railways were starting to develop in England and their need for a solution to the problem of rotting sleepers. The process of kyanization was sold to the railways. It was amazingly good at preventing wood rot unfortunately there was a down side, it had a corrosive effect on metal. Then along came creosote and the rest is history.

Lesley Ann Petersen
commented on

I am a descendant of the above Kyans from Ballymurtagh. I am John Peter Kyans cousin, the person who posted the above lengthy comment. This name Kyan originates from the Irish name O'Cahan.

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