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Month naming

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Whether 10, 12, 13 or any other number of months per year, there have been many schemes of naming them. Many use variations of ordinal numbers, person names or local agricultural features and seasonal festivities, others are completely arbitrary at least from a current perspective.

Gregorian calendar, predecessors and successors Edit

Existing patterns Edit

The Roman, Julian and Gregorian calendars share most of their names and many a minor reform proposal also keeps them, but maybe adds one or changes some lengths and start dates.

  1. January
  2. February
  3. March
  4. April(is)
  5. May
  6. June
  7. July
  8. August
  9. September
  10. October
  11. November
  12. December

Since many languages, including Latin, mark ordinals with a special morpheme, usually a postfix, these have also become markers for month names, e.g. -ber, -(u)ary and, less so, -il(is). The French Republican calendar generalizes this by marking all months that belong to the same quarter or season with the same ending, which usually has been kept in translations and local adaptations of these names.

  1. Autumn (-aire → -arious; -eezy)
    1. Vendémiaire (Vintagearious, Wheezy): September 22/23/24 – October 21/22/23 (30 days)
    2. Brumaire (Fogarious, Sneezy): October 22/23/24 – November 20/21/22 (30 days)
    3. Frimaire (Frostarious, Freezy): November 21/22/23 – December 20/21/22 (30 days)
  2. Winter (-ôse → -ous; -ippy)
    1. Nivôse (Snowous, Slippy): December 21/22/23 – January 19/20/21 (30 days)
    2. Pluviôse (Rainous, Drippy): January 20/21/22 – February 18/19/20 (30 days)
    3. Ventôse (Windous, Nippy): February 19/20/21 – March 19/20 (30 days)
  3. Spring (-al; -owery)
    1. Germinal (Buddal, Showery): March 20/21 – April 19/20 (30 days)
    2. Floréal (Floweral, Flowery): April 20/21 – May 19/20 (30 days)
    3. Prairial (Meadowal, Bowery): May 20/21 – June 18/19 (30 days)
  4. Summer (-idor; -eaty)
    1. Messidor (Reapidor, Wheaty): June 19/20 – July 18/19 (30 days)
    2. Thermidor, Fervidor (Heatidor, Heaty): July 19/20 – August 17/18 (30 days)
    3. Fructidor (Fruitidor, Sweety): August 18/19 – September 16/17 (30 days)

It has been proposed that other month properties could be structurally shown as well, e.g. its length (mostly 30 or 31 days, alternatively 4 or 5 weeks) or position inside a quarter (first, middle, last).

Systematic suggestions Edit

Although the Roman month names that stem from Latin numerals assume a March start of the year, they have survived the Julian and Gregorian calendar reforms where the start now is in January.

Walter Ziorbo’s proposal keeps existing month names where they match the Gregorian ones, i.e. start on he same day of the year and have the same number of days. All other, really new months gain a systematic name either based on a Romance ordinal number or on the corresponding traditional month name.

 Alternative month names for use with Gregorian or Symmetry calendars, including abbreviations, length and ordinal start dates
New Old Gregorian  Alternating Month Lengths  Mostly Same Weekday Quarter Start  Sym010  Sym454
arbitrary old-ordinal, -(em)ber -il, -ber -us, -a, -it -ose, -al, -idor, -aire
01 11 undec- January Jan 31 001 Undecember, Praember Unr 30 001 Undecil, Praeil Unl 31 001 Janus Jns 30  001 Janose Jno 28 001
02 12 duodec- February Feb 28+ 032 Duodecember, Nullember Dur 30+ 031 Duodecil, Nullil Dul 30+ 032 Febra Fba 31 031 Febrose Fbo 35 029
03 01 prim- March Mar 31 060+ Primember Prr 30 061+ Primil Prl 30 062+ Marchit Mrt 30 062 Marchose Mro 28 064
04 02 secund- April Apr 30 091+ Secundember Scr 31 091+ Secundil Scl 31 092+ Aprilus Aps 30 092 Aprial Apl 28 092
05 03 tert- May May 31 121+ Tertemeber Trr 30 122+ Tertil Trl 30 123+ Maya Mya 31  122 Mayal Myl 35 120
06 04 quart- June Jun 30 152+ Quartember Qrr 31 152+ Quartil Qrl 30 153+ Junit Jnt 30 153 Junal Jnl 28 155
07 05 quint- July Jul 31 182+ Quintmeber Qnr 30 183+ Quintil Qnl 31 183+ Julus Jls 30 183 Julidor Jlr 28 183
08 06 sext- August Aug 31 213+ Sextember, August Sxr 31 213+ Sextil Sxl 30 214+ Augusta Aua 31 213 Augidor Aur 35 211
09 07 sept- September Sep 30 244+ September Sep 30 244+ September Sep 30 244+ Septit Spt 30 244 Septidor Spd 28 246
10 08 oct- October Oct 31 274+ October Oct 31 274+ October Oct 31 274+ Octus Ocs 30 274 Octaire Ocr 28 274
11 09 nov- November Nov 30 305+ November Nov 30 305+ November Nov 30 305+ Nova Nva 31 304 Novaire Nvr 35 302
12 10 dec- December Dec 31 335+ December Dec 31 335+ December Dec 31 335+ Decit Dct 30+ 335 Decaire Dcr 28+ 337

Various alternative suggestionsEdit

These employ -ber and Latin ordinals or numerals:

  • 00 — Nullber, Nullober
  • 01 — Unber, Unober; Primber
  • 02 — Duober, Duber, Dober; Secundber, Secundober; Alterber, Alteber, Altober
  • 03 — Tresber, Treber, Triber, Triaber; Tertiber
  • 04 — Quattuorber, Quattorber, Quatturber; Quartber, Quartober
  • 05 — Quinqueber; Quintber, Quintober
  • 06 — Sexber, Sexober; Sextber, Sextober
  • 07 — Settember, Setember
  • 08 — Octember
  • 09 — …
  • 10 — Decimber
  • 11 — Undecimber; Praevember
  • 12 — Duodecimber
  • 13 — Tredecimber

​Very systematic 12-month suffix positional proposalEdit

Long months (31 days or 5 weeks) all start with a vowel (a, e, i, o, u), short months (30 days or 4 weeks) start with a consonant (b, d, f, g, l, m, n, p, r, s, t, v, z), each with a different one and successively advancing in the alphabet, and finally the leap month gets an e added after the suffix:

  1. -us
  2. -as
  3. -is
  4. -ul
  5. -al
  6. -il
  7. -ur
  8. -ar
  9. -ir
  10. -un
  11. -an
  12. -in

See alsoEdit

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