The modern definition of "Quoin" is an external angle of a structure, or the stones that form this angle. Yet, when we founded the company in 1994, we were using the simpler definition as a cornerstone. Jean Pierre and I wanted a company name that was not associated with a specific technology. Although we first earned a reputation for expertise in object-oriented design and distributed objects, we wanted a name that evoked engineering and a solid foundation. Our good friend Andrea Mathes suggested the name, and there was not much debate - we liked it immediately.
The term is still in current use in architecture - 'quoining' refers to the bricks or stones (often standing out or in a different color) from the rest of a building. After nearly 20 years as Quoin, we are used to spelling the name over the phone. An advantage of the name is that people ask about its meaning, and tend to remember us.
Next time you are walking through Boston, look at buildings like the Liberty Hotel to see the quoins at the corners. The stonework on the The Willard Hotel in Washington DC, especially when admired from Pennsylvania Avenue, is an exceptional example of quoining.