Thursday, December 5, 2019

Secret Origins: November

Aw, we’re almost done with these. I’m actually quite bummed about that—which is why it’s been over a year since I’ve done one, as I’ve been trying to stretch them out. I’ve done the days of the week, and now almost all the months. What else can I do???

Seriously. I’m asking.

As a word, November showed up in the thirteenth century from the Old French novembre and classical Latin November/Novembris mensis, which I assume you all know just means month of November. The novem is just nine, because November used to be the ninth month in the March-starting calendar, while the -bris is just a suffix for adjectives. Which makes it kind of weird that it’s used for the end of month names, but whatever.

Now, in Old English, November was the far, far cooler Blotmonað, which literally translates to blood sacrifice month, because it was the month where the Saxons sacrificed animals for winter and butchered them for food. That is even cooler than the original name for October, winterfylleþ.

I cannot believe we can be calling November Bloodmonth and we’re for some reason not. This is how you know the world is not a fair and just place.

Tony Jebson’s page on the Origins of Old English


  1. At least it would be easy to spell.
    Have you done all of the planets? How about animals? That would fill up some time.

  2. It will be Bloodmonth for me from now on!

  3. I don't think I could even pronounce October's real name.

  4. And it had my favorite letter, thorn.

    Okay, so you've done seasons and months and days of the week and numbers... Colors? Family members (mom, dad, sister, aunt, cousin)? Body parts (eyes, nose mouth...)?

  5. Blood sacrifice month. We should change all calendars to have that instead.


Please validate me.