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Meaning of The Names of the Months


Below you will find the months of the year and the days of the week. Each month includes the answer to the question “what are the meanings for the months of the year?”. Each day of the week name includes the answer to the question “what do the names of the days of the week mean?”.

January

The name, January, is derived from ‘Janus’, the Roman God of gates and doorways. Janus is represented as having two faces, looking in opposite directions.

Middle English: Januarie
Latin: Januarius “of Janus”
Latin: Janu(s) “Janus” + -arius “ary (pertaining to)”
Latin: Januarius mensis “month of Janus”

February

February has perhaps originated from the Sabine culture. The Roman festival of purification, which is celebrated on February 15, is called ‘Februa’.

Middle English: Februarius
Latin: Februarius “of Februa”
Latin: Februa(s) “Februa” + -arius “ary (pertaining to)”
Latin: Februarius mensis “month of Februa”
Latin: dies februatus “day of purification”

March

March, the third month of our calendar, was originally the first month of the year. It was considered as the time to resume war. March is regarded as the month of Mars.

Middle English: March(e)
Anglo-French: March(e)
Old English: Martius
Latin: Martius “of Mars
Latin: Marti(s) “Mars” + -us (adj. suffix)
Latin: Martius mensis “month of Mars”

April

April is believed as being Aphrodite’s month. Aphrodite is the Greek Goddess of love and beauty.

Old English: April(is)
Latin: Aprilis
Etruscan: Apru
Greek: Aphro, short for Aphrodite.

May

The name of this month is derived from the French word ‘Mai’. Maia is the goddess of spring. She is supposed to be the daughter of Faunus, one of the oldest Roman deities and the wife of Vulcan.

Old French: Mai
Old English: Maius
Latin: Maius “of Maia”
Latin: Maius mensis “month of Maia”

June

June is regarded as Juno’s month. Juno is the goddess of the Roman pantheon. She symbolizes marriage and welfare of woman.

Middle English: jun(e)
Old French: juin
Old English: junius
Latin: Junius “of Juno”
Latin: Junius mensis “month of Juno”

July

It was originally known as Quintilis. When Julius Caesar updated the Roman calendar, he renamed this month after his own name.

Middle English: Julie
Latin: Julius “Julius”
Latin: Julius mensis “month of Julius”
Latin: quintilis mensis “fifth month”

August

This month is named in honor of Augustus Caesar, who reformed the calendar of Julius Caesar, and named this month from his own name.

Latin: Augustus “Augustus”
Latin: Augustus mensis “month of Augustus”
Latin: sextilis mensis “sixth month”

September

The meaning of the Latin word, ‘septem’ is ‘seven’. The word ‘septimus’ means ‘seventh’. Originally, September was the seventh month of the calendar.

Middle English septembre
Latin: September
Latin: septem “seven” + -ber (adj. suffix)
Latin: september mensis “seventh month”

October

October was the eighth month of the old Roman calendar. It is linked with autumn in the Northern hemisphere, while it is associated with the spring season in the Southern hemisphere.

Middle English octobre
Latin: October
Latin: octo “eight” + -ber (adj. suffix)
Latin: october mensis “eighth month”

November

The word November has been derived from the Latin word ‘novem’, meaning nine. Its name remained intact even after January and February were added to the Roman calendar.

Middle English: Novembre
Latin: November
Latin: Novembris mensis “nineth month”

December

This month derives its name from the Latin word ‘decem’ that means ‘ten’.

Middle English: decembre
Old French: decembre
Latin: december “tenth month”
Latin: decem “ten” + -ber (adj. suffix)