Time has been measured for millennia, and yet we still manage to lose track of it. No matter how many items we put on our calendars, or how many reminders and alerts we set, time somehow gets away from us. Check out these time words — you might find one that helps you stay on track for that next appointment.
Fortnight — not Fortnite — shows up often in literature from a few hundred years ago. While many archaic phrases are clunkier than their modern equivalents, this one simplifies things. A "fortnight" is a period of two weeks, pared down from the Old English fēowertyne niht, or 14 nights. There are other week-based time measurements, too. "Sennight" means one week, and "quinzaine" is 15 days.
A "chiliad" (pronounced with a hard “K” at the beginning) indicates a unit of 1,000. It’s not always specific to time, but when it is, it’s the same as a "millennium" — a thousand years.
"Hodiernal" comes from the Latin word hodie, meaning today. But "hodiernal" doesn’t refer to the specific date. It’s the equivalent of saying “in modern times,” a general reference to the present era.
Summer is a season, but it’s also an old-fashioned method of measuring age. For example, a baby born in June would see their first summer as a newborn. Twenty years later, their age can be stated as 20 summers. The phrase "sweet, summer child" also implies a young, innocent soul.
"Days of yore" isn't referencing anyone particularly named "Yore." It's just a way to refer to the past, usually in a nostalgic or reminiscent story.
This word was more prevalent in the 19th century and earlier, but now it’s easier to just call it a year.
A "nycthemeron" combines the Greek words for night and day, and as the translation implies, it lasts 24 hours.
"Punct" and "mileway" both date back to the Middle Ages, and they’re similar units of measurement. A "punct" is 15 minutes, and a "mileway" is deceptively not a distance word. Instead, it’s 20 minutes, or about how long it takes to walk a mile.
A "nundine" is based on the Latin number nine. The “nundinae” was a Roman market held — you guessed it — every nine days.
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