October 27, 2003

*What Do You Know?

About the names of the days and months...

Sunday: named after the sun.
Monday: named after the moon.
Tuesday: named after Tiu, the Anglo-Saxon god of war.
Wednesday: named after Woden, Anglo-Saxon equivalent to Odin, the chief Norse god.
Thursday: named after Thor, Norse god of thunder.
Friday: named after Frigg, the Norse goddess equivalent to Venus.
Saturday: named after Saturn, Roman god of agriculture.

Click the extended to learn about the names of the months.

January: named after Janus, a Roman god with two faces. One looks into the past and one looks into the future.

February: derived from the Latin word "Februare" which means to cleanse. At this time of year the Romans performed religious rites to cleanse themselves of sin.

March: honors Mars, the god of war.

April: from the Latin word "Aperio" which means to open. Plants begin to grow this month.

May: after the Roman goddess Maia, and also from the Latin word "Maiores" which means elders. The elders were celebrated during this month.

June: after the goddess Juno.

July: was originally "Quintilis" as it was the fifth month in the early Roman calendar...later changed to July to honor Julius Caesar.

August: was originally "Sextilis" as it was the sixth month. It was changed to honor Augustus Caesar.

September: if you were paying attention to July and August, you can figure this one out on your own. This was once the seventh month, and took its name from "septem" which means seven.

October: See September, except it comes from "octo" or eight.

November: From "novem" or nine.

December: From "decem" or ten.

Posted by Jennifer at October 27, 2003 07:43 AM


My elementary school teachers told me that September-December are "misnumbered" because there used to be only 10 months, and that July and August were added to bring the total to 12.
Once again I declare: Everything I learned in grade school was blsuhlit.
Clearly the Roman calendar began in March and ended in February (which also explains February's unusual number of days, and why the leap-year day is added there.)
Great post!!

Posted by: Tuning Spork at October 27, 2003 07:10 PM