February (n.) - Mud Month

February (n.) - Mud Month


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Definition

February

noun
The second and shortest month of the year.

History & Etymology

Mud Month, that sounds about right, it pretty much describes everything around where I live during the month of February, and it’s pretty much the same for the climate where Old English was spoken. In fact that word the Old English word for February, Solmonath, meant.

But the word that replaced Solmonath was, as you would expect, from Latin origin brought here by the Normans, when they made the official language of government Latin. Then English did what’s it’s already done best, it absorbed elements from the languages it interacts with.

The Latin word februarius mensis meant “month of purification,” which comes from februare “to purify,” from februa “purifications” it the plural form of februum “offerings”. The origin of these words is uncertain, but one theory proposes that it comes from the PIE word meaning “the smoke” or “the burning.” This PIE word was probably   meaning “dust, vapor, or smoke.” dheu- is the origin of the word fume.

This connects the word February with burnt sacrifice and ritual purification.

Sources

https://www.etymonline.com/word/february
http://0-www.oed.com.catalog.multcolib.org/view/Entry/68878?redirectedFrom=february#eid

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