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Teaching tip

Children can learn about languages by seeing the similarities between them. Latin root words for the months of the year are reflected in many European languages. Most begin with the same letter and any variations are due to regional pronunciation and spelling.


Januarius: from Junus, the god of the doorway with two faces, one looking back at the old year and one forward to the new.

Februarius: a festival of purification.

Martius: from Mars, the God of war.

Aprilis: from apirere, to open.

Maius: from the goddess Maia.

Junonius: from the goddess Juno.

Julius: named after Julius Caesar.

Augustus: named after Augustus Caesar.

The addition of July and August affected the remaining months, which had been named from their position in the calendar.

September: the seventh month.

October: the eighth month.

November: the ninth month.

December: the tenth month.

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