However, recent analysis has provided the far more likely suggestion that the name can be traced back to its Proto Indo-European roots, with the possible original meanings 'destroyer of fingers' or 'destroyer of evidence'.
The PIE form *dimútēr stems from two roots, *dik-, zero-grade form of *deik- 'show, pronounce solemnly' (whence MdE digit 'finger') and *mut- 'to cut short' (cf. Lat. mutilus 'maimed' < suffixed form *mut-il-), plus the hypothesized agentive suffix -ēr. The velar ending of the first root seems to have been lost through assimilation to the nasal of the second. This form of the name appears in numerous unattested sources throughout Asia Minor.
Subsequently, PIE *dimútēr > Gmc. *tímuþēr, with regular conversion of d > t and t > þ via Grimm's Law. The West Saxon form *tímuþē is, admittedly, unattested; but a variant of the name is almost certain to exist in some of the obscured portions of several manuscripts of the time, based on analysis of rhyme and rhythm. It exhibits reduction of -ēr to -ē under influence of the forward shift of stress.
OE *tímuþē produced ME *tímuthē, leading to EMdE *tímothī. In this form the second vowel has already been reduced to schwa and the final -ē has been raised to -ī. The o is merely an orthographic convention, employed to distinguish the m and u, which were undergoing the well-known 'minim effect'. MdE tímothy exhibits little change, other than the regular orthographic conversion of final -ī to -y.
This paper is corrected from an earlier version, in which certain erroneous findings were shown to be incorrect and I, as a result, was graciously allowed to retain all of my fingers.