Sunday, February 22, 2015

If OCTO means eight, why is October the TENTH month?

If you know your prefixes, you will know that OCTO- or OCTA- means eight. An octopus has eight legs. An octagon has eight sides. SEPT- means seven. NOV- means nine and DEC- means ten. So why, for instance, is October the tenth month and December the twelfth month?

The reason is simple. The Romans used to do things in tens and they used to have ten months in a year. Then along came Julius Caesar, and the Roman Senate named a month after him - July. Augustus Caesar also got a month named after him - August.

So September - December were bumped forward and became the ninth - twelfth months, despite what their names suggest!

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