Word of the Week: April

April is a noun and defined as the fourth month of the Gregorian calendar. First used in the 12th century, April is one of the many words in the English language that has its roots in Latin.

The etymology of the word April is unknown. However, most scholars believe the word derives from the Latin word aperire “to open” because in April, plants begin to grow and flowers bloom. Other scholars suggest April derives from the Greek goddess Aphrodite. Historical names for April include the Anglo-Saxon word ēastre-monaþ, which comes from the Germanic goddess Ēostre, the namesake for the Christian holiday Easter.

Today, the most widely used calendar is the Gregorian calendar. Introduced by Pope Gregory XIII in 1582, the Gregorian calendar can be traced back to the Roman calendar, which consisted of 10 months and a dead period during winter. The original 10 months were Martius, Aprilis, Maius, Junius, Quintilis, Sextilis, September, October, November, and December. In the earliest Roman calendar, April was the 2nd month of the year, but was moved to the 4th month when January officially became the first month of the year around 450 BC.

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“April.” Merriam-Webster.com

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