While many Slavic languages officially use Latin-derived names for the months of the year in the Gregorian calendar, there is also a set of older names for the twelve months that differs from the Latin month names, as they are of Slavic origin. In some languages, such as the Serbian language these traditional names have since been archaized and are thus seldom used.

The original names of the months of the year in the Slavic languages closely follow natural occurrences such as weather patterns and conditions common for that period, as well as agricultural activities.

Many months have several alternative names in different regions; conversely, a single "Slavic name" may correspond to different "Roman names" (for different months, usually following each other) in different languages.

Comparison table

The Slavic names of the months have been preserved by a number of Slavic people in a variety of languages. The conventional month names in some of these languages are mixed, including names which show the influence of the Germanic calendar (particularly Slovene, Sorbian, and Polabian)[1] or names which are borrowed from the Gregorian calendar (particularly Polish and Kashubian), but they have been included here nonetheless.

In the Latvian and Lithuanian languages, the Baltic names of the months are preserved, which partially coincide with the Slavic ones, which suggests that some of these names may date back to the time of the Balto-Slavic linguistic unity. Latvian and Lithuanian names are also shown in this table for comparison.

Comparison of the traditional names for the twelve months in different Slavic languages[2][3][4][5][6][7][8][9][10][11]
Language January February March April May June July August September October November December
Belarusian
студзень
studzen′

люты
ljuty
сакавік
sakavik
красавік
krasavik
май*
maj*
чэрвень
čèrven′
ліпень
lipen′
жнівень
žniven′
верасень
verasen′
кастрычнік
kastryčnik
лістапад
listapad
снежань
snežan′
травень
traven′
Ukrainian січень
sičeń
лютий
ljutyj
березень
berezen′
квітень
kviten′
червень
červen′
липень
lypen′
серпень
serpen′
вересень
veresen′
жовтень
žovten′
листопад
lystopad
грудень
hruden′
лютень
ljutyj
Rusyn лютый
ljutyj
цвітень
cviten′
жолтень
žolten′
Russian
archaic
сечень
sečenʹ
лютень
ljutenʹ
березозол
berezozol
цветень
cvetenʹ
липец
lipec
листопад
listopad
грудень
grudenʹ
студень
studenʹ
Old East Slavic стоудѣнь
studěnʹ
снежѣнь
snežěnʹ
соухїй
suhij
берѣзолъ
berězolŭ
травѣнь
travěnʹ
чѣрвѣнь
čěrvěnʹ
липѣнь
lipenʹ
сѣрпѣнь
sěrpěnʹ
версѣнь
versěnʹ
осень
osenʹ
листопадъ
listopadŭ
гроудѣнь
gruděnʹ
Old Church Slavonic просиньць
prosinĭcĭ
сѣчьнъ
sěčĭnŭ
соухъ
suhŭ
брѣзьнъ
brězĭnŭ
трѣвьнъ
trěvĭnŭ
изокъ
izokŭ
чръвлѥнꙑи
črŭvljenyi
заревъ
zarevŭ
роуинъ
ruinŭ
листопадъ
listopadŭ
гроудьнъ
grudĭnŭ
стоуденъ
studenŭ
Bulgarian
archaic
сечен
sečen
люти
ljuti
сухи
suhi
брезен
brezen
тревен
treven
изок
izok
червен
červen
зарев
zarev
руен
ruen
листопад
listopad
груден
gruden
просинец
prosinec
Macedonian
archaic
коложег
koložeg
сечко
sečko
цутар
cutar
тревен
treven
косар
kosar
жетвар
žetvar
златец
zlatec
житар
žitar
гроздобер
grozdober
студен
studen
снежник
snežnik
Serbian
archaic
дерикожа
derikoža
лажитрава
lažitrava
цветањ
cvetanj
трешњар
trešnjar
жетвар
žetvar
гумник
gumnik
коледар*
koledar*
Croatian siječanj veljača ožujak travanj svibanj lipanj srpanj kolovoz rujan studeni prosinac
Slovene
archaic
prosinec svečan sušec mali traven veliki traven rožnik mali srpan veliki srpan kimavec vinotok listopad gruden
Slovak
archaic
veľký sečeň malý sečeň brezen
(brezeň)
duben
(dubeň)
květen
(kveteň)
lipen
(lipeň)
klasen
(klaseň)
srpen
(srpeň)
malý rujen veľký rujen mrazen
(mrazeň)
ľadeň sečeň
Czech leden únor březen červen červenec září říjen prosinec
Polish styczeń luty marzec* kwiecień maj* czerwiec lipiec sierpień wrzesień październik grudzień
brzezień (archaic) trawień (archaic)
łżykwiat (archaic)
Kashubian stëcznik gromicznik strëmiannik łżëkwiat môj* czerwińc lëpińc zélnik séwnik rujan lëstopadnik gòdnik
luti kwiecéń miodownik serzpiéń wrzeseń pazdzérznik grëdzéń
Lower Sorbian
archaic
wezymski swěckowny pózymski jatšownik rozhelony smažki žnjojski jacmjeński požnjenc winski młośny zymski
Upper Sorbian
archaic
wulki róžk mały róžk nalětnik jutrownik róžownik smažnik pražnik žnjenc winowc nazymnik hodownik
Polabian
extinct
ledemån rüzac zürmån chåidemån laisemån pąťustemån zeminik haimån jisinmån vaińamån zaimamån trübnemån
Lithuanian
non-Slavic
sausis vasaris kovas balandis gegužė birželis liepa rugpjūtis rugsėjis spalis lapkritis gruodis
Latvian
archaic, non-Slavic
ziemas sveču sērsnu sulu lapu ziedu liepu rudzu viršu
(silu)
veļu salnas vilku

* word of non-Slavic or non-Baltic origin

Croatian months

The Croatian months used with the Gregorian calendar by Croats differ from the original Latin month names.

No. Latin name English name Croatian name Croatian meaning
1 Ianuarius January siječanj from cutting or hewing wood[12] but there are also dialectal terms 'svečan, svičen, sičan' that have a meaning 'festive', so there is a possibility of a meaning 'festive month' (as there are several holidays celebrated in January)[13]
2 Februarius February veljača month in which days become longer, oveljiti se = to get bigger;[14] or to wallow, to roll valjati, to indicate unstable weather[15]
3 Martius March ožujak lying month (laž>ož; laž = a lie), because the weather is changing often[16][17]
4 Aprilis April travanj from growing grass, trava[18]
5 Maius May svibanj from budding Cornel tree svib[19]
6 Iunius June lipanj from linden tree, lipa[20]
7 Iulius July srpanj from reaping with a sickle, srp[21]
8 Augustus August kolovoz from driving a wagon (for harvest) — wheel kolo + drive voz[22]
9 September September rujan from an archaic verb for deer roaring[23] or from a poetic word for blushing, rosy[24]
10 October October listopad from falling leaves — leaf list + fall padati[25]
11 November November studeni from cold, studen[26]
12 December December prosinac the beginning of the Sun's shining, to dawn sinuti;[27] or from sinji, greyish blue color[28]

Czech months

The names of Czech months are, as in Belarusian, Croatian, Kashubian, Polish, and Ukrainian, not based on the Latin names used in most European languages. The suffix -en is added to most of the months' names.

No. Latin name English name Czech name Meaning
1. Ianuarius January leden From led, "ice".
2. Februarius February únor Probably from the word root -nor-, infinitive form nořit (se), "to plunge, to welter", as the ice welters under the lake surface.
3. Martius March březen Either from bříza, "birch", or from březí, "gravid, with young", as the forest animals, mainly hares and rabbits, are pregnant at that time.[29]
4. Aprilis April duben Derived from dub, "oak".
5. Maius May květen From květ, "blossom". Originally máj, "May". The word květen first appeared in Jungmann's translation of Atala from 1805 as a poetism and translation for French lune de fleurs (month of flowers), but quickly gained acceptance. Jungmann was probably also influenced by the Polish word kwiecień ("April").
6. Iunius June červen Either from červený, "red", or from červ, "worm", both related to fruit.
7. Iulius July červenec The same as červen with a diminutive suffix ec, lit. "small červen".
8. Augustus August srpen From srp, "sickle" - used for harvesting.
9. September September září From Old Czech zářij, from za říje. (See říjen.) Folk etymology derives it from zářit, "to blaze, glow, radiate, shine".
10. October October říjen From říje, "rutting", the time when the – mainly deer – males want to couple.
11. November November listopad Literally "leaf-fall".
12. December December prosinec Either from prosit, "to pray, beg, to ask, to plead", possibly relating to holidays at this time, or from prosinalý, "pallid", from siný, deep blue, because the sky is usually pallid at this time.

Macedonian months

Main article: Macedonian months

The Macedonian language has two sets of names of the months of the Gregorian calendar. The most commonly used set of names is derived from the Latin month names and these are used by the vast majority of the Macedonian population. However, there is also a set of older names for the twelve months of Slavic origin that differ from the Latin month names, although their usage is archaized and largely restricted to folk literature and religious calendars issued by the Macedonian Orthodox Church.

The origin of the Macedonian month names is closely related to the agricultural activities that occur in the corresponding period, or to the weather conditions common for that period. Some months have alternative names in different regions. The usage of modern Latin month names among Macedonians started towards the end of the 19th century, as a result of mass education.

No. Latin name English name Macedonian Cyrillic Macedonian Latin Old Macedonian name Transliteration Meaning
1. Ianuarius January Јануари Januari Коложег Koložeg Month of burning tree trunks
2. Februarius February Февруари Fevruari Сечко Sečko Month of ice
3. Martius March Март Mart Цутар Cutar Month of blossoming
4. Aprilis April Април April Тревен Treven Month of grass
5. Maius May Мај Maj Косар Kosar Time of flowering grasses and shrubs
6. Iunius June Јуни Juni Жетвар Žetvar Time of maturity of the first yield of fruits
7. Iulius July Јули Juli Златец Zlatec Golden month
8. Augustus August Август Avgust Житар Žitar Month of wheat
9. September September Септември Septemvri Гроздобер Grozdober Month of harvesting grapes
10. October October Октомври Oktomvri Листопад Listopad Month of leaves falling
11. November November Ноември Noemvri Студен Studen Month of cold
12. December December Декември Dekemvri Снежник Snežnik Month of snow

Polish months

The names of Polish months are, as in Belarusian, Croatian, Czech, Kashubian, and Ukrainian, not based on the Latin names used in most European languages, with the exception of March and May, which were borrowed from the Gregorian calendar.

No. Latin name English name Polish name Meaning
1. Ianuarius January styczeń Inherited from Old Polish sieczeń, from Proto-Slavic *sěčьnь (“winter month of cutting wood”), derived from Proto-Slavic *sěča (“cutting wood”), from Proto-Slavic *sěťi (“to cut”), with -ty- possibly by influence from the word tyka (“pole, rod, branch, beam”).[30]
2. Februarius February luty Inherited from Old Polish luty, from Proto-Slavic *ľutъ (“harsh, cruel, severe”).[31]
3. Martius March marzec Borrowed from Middle High German marz, from Old High German merzo, from Latin Mārtius (“of or belonging to Mars, the god of war”). Diplaced Old Polish brzezień.[32]
4. Aprilis April kwiecień Inherited from Proto-Slavic *květьnь, derived from Proto-Slavic *květъ (“flower”). Diplaced Old Polish łżykwiat.[33]
5. Maius May maj Borrowed from Latin Maius (“of or belonging to Maia, the goddess of growth”). Diplaced Old Polish trawień.[34]
6. Iunius June czerwiec Inherited from Old Polish czyrwiec. By surface analysis, from czerw (“maggot; red dye made from bugs”) + -iec. Diplaced Old Polish czyrwień possibly under influence of marzec and later lipiec.[35]
7. Iulius July lipiec Inherited from Proto-Slavic *lipьcь. By surface analysis, from lipa (“linden, lime-tree, basswood”) + -iec. Diplaced Old Polish lipień.[36]
8. Augustus August sierpień Inherited from Proto-Slavic *sŕ̥pьnь. By surface analysis, from sierp (“sickle”) + -eń.[37]
9. September September wrzesień Derived from wrzos (“heather”) + -eń.[38]
10. October October październik Derived from paździerz (“boon, hurds, shives, shoves”) + -nik.[39]
11. November November listopad Inherited from Proto-Slavic *listopadъ. By surface analysis, from liść (“leaf”) + -o- + padać (“to fall”).[40]
12. December December grudzień Inherited from Proto-Slavic *grudьnъ. By surface analysis, from gruda (“clod, heap, lump”) + -eń.[41]

Russian months

The names of Russian months used with the Gregorian calendar by vast majority of the Russian population. The most of names for the twelve months of Slavic origin that is differ from the Latin month names and standardized set of archaic that issued by Old Church Slavonic.

No. Latin name English name Russian Cyrillic Russian Latin Russian name

(archaic)

Transliteration Meaning
1. Ianuarius January Январь Janvar' Сечень Sečen' Month of cutting wood
2. Februarius February Февраль Fevral' Лютень Ljuten' Month of harshing
3. Martius March Март Mart Берeзозол Berezozol Month of birch
4. Aprilis April Апрель Aprel' Цветень Cveten' Month of blossoming
5. Maius May Май Maj Травень Traven' Month of grass
6. Iunius June Июнь Ijun' Червень Červen' Month of gules
7. Iulius July Июль Ijul' Липец Lipec Month of linden tree
8. Augustus August Август Avgust Серпень Serpen' Month of sickle
9. September September Сентябрь Sentjabr' Вересень Veresen' Month of heather
10. October October Октябрь Oktjabr' Листопад Listopad Month of leaves falling
11. November November Ноябрь Nojabr' Грудень Gruden' Month of heap
12. December December Декабрь Dekabrí Студень Studen' Month of cold

Slovene months

Main article: Slovene months

Many of the names in the standardized set of archaic Slovene month names first occur in the Škofja Loka manuscript, written in 1466 by Martin of Loka.[42]

No. Latin name English name Slovene name Slovene name (archaic) Meaning
1. Ianuarius January januar prosinec '(sun) shining through';[43][44]
2. Februarius February februar svečan perhaps 'dry' or 'cut' (influenced by svečnica 'Candlemas');[43][44]
3. Martius March marec sušec '(earth) dry (enough for cultivation)';[43][44]
4. Aprilis April april mali traven 'small grass';[43][44]
5. Maius May maj veliki traven 'large grass';[43][44]
6. Iunius June junij rožnik 'flowers' (a translation of German Rosenmonat);[43][44]
7. Iulius July julij mali srpan 'small sickle' (i.e., reaping);[43][44]
8. Augustus August avgust veliki srpan 'large sickle' (i.e., reaping);[43][44]
9. September September september kimavec 'nodding (fruit)';[44]
10. October October oktober vinotok 'wine flowing' (a translation of German Weinmonat);[43][44]
11. November November november listopad 'falling leaves';[43][44]
12. December December december gruden 'biting (cold)'[43] or 'clumped (earth)';[44]

Ukrainian months

The names of Ukrainian months are not based on the Latin names used in most European languages. Latin names are not used at all, though it's possible to hear distorted versions of Russian or Polish names in surzhyk sometimes. The suffix -en is added to most of the months' names.

Months Transliteration Meaning
English name Ukrainian name Official standart Łatynka
1. January січень sichen siczeń Derives from Ukrainian: сечище, сеча – place, cleared from trees and plants, which is itself derived from Old East Slavic: сѣча (of the same meaning).[45] It is a reference to slash-and-burn agricultural practice.[46][47]
2. February лютий

(arch. лютень)

liutyi (liuten) lutyj (luteń) Derives from Ukrainian: лютий – fierce, savage. It was called so due to an extremely cold temperatures.[48] Both names were used simultaneously up to the first half of the XX century, but the simplified adjective form prevailed eventually.[49][50][51][52]
3. March березень berezen berezeń Derives from Ukrainian: береза – birch. Birches usually begin to bloom in the end of March, which is also a time of a birch sap collection.[53]
4. April квітень kviten kviteń Derives from Ukrainian: квіт, цвіт – bloom. It was called so due to the intensive blooming of most known species of flowers, growing in Ukraine. It is also has connections with the birch bloom.[54]
5. May травень traven traveń From Ukrainian: трава – grass. The name comes from various grasses that abundantly cover the earth with green growth in this months.
6. June червень cherven czerveń From Ukrainian: червець – cochineal, a bug active in the first half of summer. The month used to share this name with the bug previously.
7. July липень lypen łypeń From Ukrainian: липа – linden. This name is associated with the exuberant flowering of linden trees and the period of collecting linden honey.
8. August серпень serpen serpeń From Ukrainian: серп – sickle. This month marks the start of grain harvest in Ukraine. Sickle is the most known tool used in this process.
9. September вересень veresen vereseń From Ukrainian: верес – heather.[55] Heather is a honey plant, which usually begins to bloom in the start of this month.
10. October жовтень zhovten żovteń From Ukrainian: жовте – yellow. This names comes from autumn yellowing of leaves.
11. November листопад lystopad łystopad Literally means leaf-fall. It is a combination of Ukrainian words листя and падleaves and fall respectively.
12. December грудень hruden hrudeń From Ukrainian: грудка – lump. A reference to snow conditions of this month.

See also

References

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  2. ^ Nedeljković, Mile (September 1998). "Zimski znak vatre letnji znak sunca i Perunova munja" [Winter fire symbol, summer sun symbol, and lightning of Perun]. Srpsko nasleđe (in Serbian) (9). Retrieved 11 October 2014.
  3. ^ Nedeljković, Mile (1990). Godišnji običaji u Srba [Annual traditions of the Serbs] (in Serbian). Belgrade: Vuk Karadžić.
  4. ^ Jovanović, Stanoje, ed. (1999). Jezici podunavskih zemalja (i ruski) [Languages of the Danube countries (and Russia)]. Belgrade: YU Marketing Press and Verzalpress. OCLC 443031481.
  5. ^ Gleichova, Jarmila; Jenikova, Anna (1982). Česko-srbocharvatsky a srbocharvatsko-česky slovnik na cesty [Czech–Serbo-Croatian/Serbo-Croatian–Czech travel dictionary] (in Czech). Prague: Statni pedagogicke nakladatelstvi.
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  7. ^ "Carpatho-Rusyn month names". rolandanderson.se. Retrieved 11 September 2020.
  8. ^ Serbska protyka [Sorbian calendar]. Bautzen: Domowina. 1968.
  9. ^ Јacanović, Dragan (2000). Srpsko kalendarsko znanje u epskim narodnim pesmama [Serbian calendar knowledge in folk epic poetry] (in Serbian). Rača.((cite book)): CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link)
  10. ^ Zaroff, Roman (5 May 2016). "Measurement of Time by the Ancient SlavsMerjenje časa pri starih Slovanih" (PDF). Studia mythologica Slavica. 19: 9–39. doi:10.3986/sms.v19i0.6614.
  11. ^ Hauptova Z., editor (1958–1997) Slovník jazyka staroslověnského (Lexicon linguae palaeoslovenicae), Prague: Euroslavica
  12. ^ "siječanj". Croatian Encyclopedia. Retrieved 23 November 2021.
  13. ^ "NAZIV MJESECI U GODINI NA HRVATSKOM". hamdočamo. 7 February 2011. Retrieved 24 May 2017.
  14. ^ "veljača". Croatian Encyclopedia. Retrieved 24 May 2017.
  15. ^ "travanj". Hrvatski jezični portal (in Croatian). Znanje d.o.o. and Srce. Retrieved 23 November 2021.
  16. ^ "ožujak". Croatian Encyclopedia. Retrieved 23 November 2021.
  17. ^ "ožujak". Hrvatski jezični portal (in Croatian). Znanje d.o.o. and Srce. Retrieved 23 November 2021.
  18. ^ "travanj". Hrvatski jezični portal (in Croatian). Znanje d.o.o. and Srce. Retrieved 23 November 2021.
  19. ^ "svibanj". Hrvatski jezični portal (in Croatian). Znanje d.o.o. and Srce. Retrieved 23 November 2021.
  20. ^ "lipanj". Hrvatski jezični portal (in Croatian). Znanje d.o.o. and Srce. Retrieved 23 November 2021.
  21. ^ "srpanj". Hrvatski jezični portal (in Croatian). Znanje d.o.o. and Srce. Retrieved 23 November 2021.
  22. ^ "kolovoz". Hrvatski jezični portal (in Croatian). Znanje d.o.o. and Srce. Retrieved 23 November 2021.
  23. ^ "rujan". Croatian Encyclopedia. Retrieved 23 November 2021.
  24. ^ "rujan". Hrvatski jezični portal (in Croatian). Znanje d.o.o. and Srce. Retrieved 23 November 2021.
  25. ^ "listopad". Hrvatski jezični portal (in Croatian). Znanje d.o.o. and Srce. Retrieved 23 November 2021.
  26. ^ "studeni". Hrvatski jezični portal (in Croatian). Znanje d.o.o. and Srce. Retrieved 23 November 2021.
  27. ^ "prosinac". Croatian Encyclopedia. Retrieved 24 May 2017.
  28. ^ "prosinac". Hrvatski jezični portal (in Croatian). Znanje d.o.o. and Srce. Retrieved 23 November 2021.
  29. ^ Machek, 1968, in Václav Machek, Etymologický slovník jazyka českého, second edition, Academia, 1968
  30. ^ "styczeń". Wielki słownik języka polskiego (in Polish). Instytut Języka Polskiego PAN. Retrieved 27 July 2023.
  31. ^ "luty". Wielki słownik języka polskiego (in Polish). Instytut Języka Polskiego PAN. Retrieved 27 July 2023.
  32. ^ "marzec". Wielki słownik języka polskiego (in Polish). Instytut Języka Polskiego PAN. Retrieved 27 July 2023.
  33. ^ "kwiecień". Wielki słownik języka polskiego (in Polish). Instytut Języka Polskiego PAN. Retrieved 27 July 2023.
  34. ^ "maj". Wielki słownik języka polskiego (in Polish). Instytut Języka Polskiego PAN. Retrieved 27 July 2023.
  35. ^ "czerwiec". Wielki słownik języka polskiego (in Polish). Instytut Języka Polskiego PAN. Retrieved 27 July 2023.
  36. ^ "lipiec". Wielki słownik języka polskiego (in Polish). Instytut Języka Polskiego PAN. Retrieved 27 July 2023.
  37. ^ "sierpień". Wielki słownik języka polskiego (in Polish). Instytut Języka Polskiego PAN. Retrieved 27 July 2023.
  38. ^ "wrzesień". Wielki słownik języka polskiego (in Polish). Instytut Języka Polskiego PAN. Retrieved 27 July 2023.
  39. ^ "październik". Wielki słownik języka polskiego (in Polish). Instytut Języka Polskiego PAN. Retrieved 27 July 2023.
  40. ^ "listopad". Wielki słownik języka polskiego (in Polish). Instytut Języka Polskiego PAN. Retrieved 27 July 2023.
  41. ^ "grudzień". Wielki słownik języka polskiego (in Polish). Instytut Języka Polskiego PAN. Retrieved 27 July 2023.
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