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crazyivan's avatar

If Septem means seven and Membri means month, why do we call the 9th month "September"?

Asked by crazyivan (4461points) September 9th, 2010

I always thought it was a byproduct of Julius Caesar inserting himself into the calander but as it turns out this odd tidbit predates even the Julian calendar. Why have we not fixed this? (In case you haven’t notived, October means 8th month, November means 9th month and December means 10th month)

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6 Answers

ucme's avatar

Yeah it’s like octopus & octagon, from the Greek okto meaning eight. Eight legs, eight sides right? Yet October is the tenth month!!! Showing my ignorance here but, that’s always puzzled me.

Sarcasm's avatar

That issue dates back to ~700BC, thanks to this guy.
The Roman Calendar did originally have 10 months, starting with Martius (March), and September through December’s names actually made sense.

marinelife's avatar

“The earliest Latin calendar was a 10-month one, beginning with March; thus, September was the seventh month, October, the eighth, etc. July was originally called Quintilis, meaning fifth; August was originally called Sextilis, meaning sixth.”


CyanoticWasp's avatar

Sept – seven
Oct – eight
Nov – nine
Dec – ten

@Sarcasm and @marinelife nailed it.

crazyivan's avatar

Right. I know the answer, but I wonder why we never fixed it. The 10 month calendar had a gap from what is now the end of December and the beginning of March. Just seems like when they decided to add months to those days they’d have tacked it on to the end. We’ve had 2700 years to straighten this out which is going to make us look like a bunch of slackers when the aliens get here…

filmfann's avatar

Leave it be. It will make things easier when we go to a metric calendar.

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