Why is September the ninth month when it means 7, and likewise for October, November, December…? SEMANTIC ENIGMAS
Why is September the ninth month when it means 7, and likewise for October, November, December…?
Jessie Churchill, San Francisco, USA
Septemeber is the ninth month for us, but the Romans had only ten months in their calendar, so the number-names worked out right for them.
Amanda , Norman, OK, USA
It’s one of the things “the Romans did for us” – slotting in two months – July named after Julius Caesar and August named after Augustus Caesar. This nudged the later months along by two and so September became the ninth instead of the seventh month etc.
Alan Daulby, Mold, UK
In the Roman calendar there were only ten months – the 7th to 10th being September to December as their names suggest. It was only later when July and August (Julius and Augustus Caesar) were added that they became out of sequence.
Chris Woods, Mt Victoria, NSW, Australia
The Roman year used to start with spring (1 March) which makes September to December the 7th, 8th, 9th and 10th months.
Keith Mason, London, UK
Further to my first answer and later contributions, it’s true that there were originally only 10 (lunar) months, with a roughly 64 day ‘non month’ winter period. However the two extra months, Jan and Feb, were added at the end of the year, giving a year of about 354 days, with a short ‘non month’ at the end, before the time of Julius Caesar. He reformed the calendar, lengthened the months so they filled up the whole 365 day period, and later the 5th and 6th months (Quintilis and Sextilis) were renamed after him and his successor Augustus. The ‘non month’ survives in vestigial form as the leap day, February 29. Only later was the new year moved to near the winter solstice.
Keith Mason, London, UK
Months are named after different things. January – Janus (Roman god) February – forfebrua (Roman word for purification and offerings) March – Mars (Roman god) April – probably from Latin “aperio, aperire” to uncover or open May – prob from Maiesta (Roman goddess) June – Juno (Roman goddess) July – Julius Caesar August – Augustus Caesar September – seventh month October – eighth month November – ninth month December – tenth month
Roger Cline, Big Spring, Texas, USA
September is also special in that it’s spelt with 7 different letters and 9 total letters — numbers which correspond elegantly to both its root meaning and its calendar placement. No other month can do this trick.
Steve, Kansas City USA
The romans could not count using there x v’s all that cerfuddle!!! age 10!:)
tabi, norley England
September is named after the Roman emperor Sebtemberus Severus and has nothing to do with the number of the month.
Mike, Houston US
What if I said that there is only 10 months, November number 9, March is the first… But I think it was only 6 days a week!!that means only 24 days each month!!so ask yourselves,if those born in jan,and feb,and after the 24th,,have always felt lost???well ask them,,because a lot of them do!!!!strange!
nils, oslo norway
Iranian nations have the calendar which starts from 21 March. This calendar is very old and is very precise too. In this calendar the year starts from the first day of spring when the nature is going to become green too. and the last month of this calendar is esfand which has 28 or 29 day like Feb. in European calendar (but Feb. is the second month of the year and this is not logical). It is obviously more logical to start the new year by changing the season from winter to spring. But European follow the Gregorian calendar. Because of religious reasons they tried to make the first day closer to Christmas. As you know the Iranian nations, Indian nations and European nations have the same origin and originally they followed the same calendar. September is the seventh month in Iranian calendar (but not in this name). I mean the seven month of Iranian calendar approximately coincides to September.
Mostafa, Tehran, Iran
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