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How September Got Its Name

Categories: Vocabulary for Success |

Ever wonder why September is ninth in order and not seventh? If you’re familiar with Latin, the etymology of “September” is not hard to decode. It’s derived from the word ‘septem’ which means ‘seven.’ But if you’re feeling perplexed don’t worry. Yes, it’s the ninth month in the Gregorian Calendar. It wasn’t always like that, however.

Calendar months were moved and renamed often over the first few thousand years they were in use. At one point, the Romans decided that the month after August needed to be named. September was the next month and seventh in line – that’s because year started in March back then. January and February did not even exist yet.

So since the month after August was seventh in line, it was quite apt to name it “September.” However, the early Roman calendar (which only had 304 days) didn’t work out in the end, because the seasons eventually stopped aligning with the sun’s position in the solar system, causing confusion. That’s why around 700 BCE, the King Numa Pompilious added January and February in the calendar, extending its length by 50 or 51 days.

As a result, September was pushed back, and was ninth in line, where it has stayed.

September is memorable for more than its odd naming history, however! Here are some examples:

> September is one of only two months that start on the same day of the week every year (December is the other).

>  On September 5, 1961 air piracy was declared a crime in the United States, punishable by death or imprisonment.

> Band aids were a first-aid concept created in September.

>  National Cheese Pizza Day is celebrated September 5.

> National Teddy Bear Day is celebrated  September 9.

January is not the only month people make resolutions! The first month of fall in the Northern Hemisphere can be a month of new resolutions, personal growth pledges and new starts. This is the case because after a lovely summer vacation break September starts with you feeling energized, relaxed and ready to conquer more!

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