Is there a relation between the moon and the word month (moonth)?
I was watching this movie called "He Died with a Falafel in his Hand" (good movie by the way) and there is a part where this Pagan woman is talking about how there were originally 13 moonths in the year for the 13 cycles of the moon. She also talked about how in Pagan times the Pagan King, chosen by the Pagan matriarch, would be sacrificed on the end of the 13th cycle in which his ashes were supposed to bring new fertility to the earth. The abolishing of this system by a Christian patriarchal system not only got rid of the follow of the 13 moon cycles but also is where the number 13 comes from as being seen as unlucky. Is there any truth to this or is this a bunch of B.S. made up by the writer?
- SterzLv 61 decade agoFavorite Answer
I also liked the film very much. The book by John Birmingham on which the film is based is very funny, too.
The similarity of the words "month" and "moon" is no coincidence, since the cycles of the moon have been the basis for many different calendar systems for thousands of years. And since a year consists of a bit more than 12 lunar cycles (from full moon to full moon or new moon to new moon), there are calendar systems with 12 months, some with 13 months and some with a 13th "reserve" month to be inserted every time the year cycle gets seriously out of whack with the 12 months system.
As a consequence of the moon cycle as a basis of the months in the calendar year, there are many languages where the words for "moon" and "month" are similar:
English is a example for a Germanic language. Other closely related languages have similar word pairs (in the following list the word for "moon" comes first, the word for "month" after it):
German: Mond - Monat
Swedish: måne -månad
The same goes for the larger family of Indo-European languages of which the Germanic languages form a branch:
Russian: месяц (mesyats) - месяц (mesyats)
Lithuanian: menesis -menesis
Irish Gaelic: mi - mi
Ancient Greek: mene - men
Armenian: amsoy - amsoy
Albanian: muaj - muaj
Also in other language families:
Estonian: kuu - kuu
Finnish: kuu - kuukausi
Hungarian: hold - hónap
Hebrew: yare'akh - yerakh (month)
American indigenous langauges:
Quechua (the old language of the Incas, still spoken today by millions of people in the South American Andes mountain range:
killa - killa
Indonesian: bulan - bulan
So much for some of the background. As far as the Pagan woman is concerned, in the book and the film she is probably just meant as another addiion to the large list of crackpots the main character encounters in shared housinbg.Source(s): different definitions of months in different calendar systems: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Month
- ClarkieLv 61 decade ago
Below is the etymology of the word MOON as we use it today.
[Origin: bef. 900; ME mone, OE mōna; c. OHG māno, ON māni, Goth mena; akin to G Mond moon, L ménsis month, Gk mné moon, Skt māsa moon, month] [Dictionary.com]
If the year had thirteen moon cycles, rather than 12, winter would be on a different set of months every year...Source(s): www.dictionary.com
- saehliLv 61 decade ago
Of course there is a relation.
The moon travels around the world in roughly a month.
The etymology has developed via German:
der Mond (the moon)
der Monat (the month)
You are welcome