Beyond Our Ken
Beyond Our Ken : Phrases
Beyond our understanding.
The word ken, meaning understanding or perception, is now rarely used outside Scotland. The first references to 'beyond our ken' aren't from the UK though but from America. The earliest I can find is in the Gettysburg newspaper The Republican Banner, in November 1834:
That is in a rather fanciful story about a balloon trip and doesn't make the meaning clear. In 1864, William Whitney, in the proceedings of the Annual Reports Board of Regents of the Smithsonian Institute, made the meaning more explicit: