WORDS ABOUT TIME
This is a reference and information section. You can use it to expand your general knowledge, to explore history, and also to find ideas for your writing. You can move from mythology into fantasy!
The everyday words we use when we talk and write about time come from all kinds of origins. The names of our months and days have their own fascinating histories. Most of them are associated with ancient gods.
The word calendar came into English after the Norman Conquest (you know what happened in 1066 and afterwards!). The word came from the Norman French language of the invaders: calender or calendier. They had borrowed it from the language of the ancient Romans — Latin kalendarium meant 'account-book'. The first day of the month, called kalendae, was when accounts were due and debts had to be paid. So it was all to do with money!
There were several different calendars in the ancient world. There still are, in different cultures. About 2,600 years the old Roman calendar was based on ten (not twelve) lunar (related to the moon) months. The first month was March. Around 1,850 years ago, it was changed — January was made the first month. Two months were added to make a 12-month calendar.
Then in 46 BC, Julius Caesar was responsible for reforming the calendar to cover 365 days. This meant adjusting the previous lunar months and introducing a 'leap year' to re-align to the lunar cycles.. This calendar is known as the Julian calendar. It was still still inaccurate. In 1592, Pope Gregory XIII introduced a new, more accurate system which is known as the Gregorian calendar. That calendar, with a few later changes, is still in use.
In this reference section, you can read more about the days of the week and the months of the year. You can also read more about the stories behind words, and the history of the English language, on my other website, The Brain Rummager Too. There's a link to it on the Home Page and in the main Menu.
Days of the week
Months of the year
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