stars in my hands

take it in. give it back. deglobalize.

Peculiar December 3, 2011

Filed under: words — Amanda McRaven @ 11:56 pm

The Peculiar Ending of December” is the article on dictionary.com right now. I hope that December does have a peculiar ending. I should like to experience more things that are peculiar. Not just strange or weird.

December

c.1000, from O.Fr. decembre, from L. December, from decem “ten” (see ten); tenth month of the old Roman calendar, which began with March. The -ber in four L. month names is probably from -bris, an adjectival suffix. Tucker thinks that the first five months were named for their positions in the agricultural cycle, and “after the gathering in of the crops, the months were merely numbered.”

If the word contains an element related to mensis, we must assume a *decemo-membris (from *-mensris). October must then be by analogy from a false division Sep-tem-ber &c. Perhaps, however, from *de-cem(o)-mr-is, i.e. “forming the tenth part or division,” from *mer- …, while October = *octuo-mr-is. [T.G. Tucker, “Etymological Dictionary of Latin”]

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