Word for Wednesday: Yule

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Our Word for Wednesday theme for December is words you only hear at Christmas

Over December, we’ve looked at the words carol, tidings and merry. Our final word for 2022 is yule.

The words yule and yuletide are old-fashioned terms for Christmas and the festive season which takes place from December 24th to January 6th.

The word yuletide dates to the fifteenth century while yule dates to the seventeenth century.

Yule comes from the Old English ‘geol’ meaning ‘Chrismastide’, which in comes from an Old Norse name for the winter feast ‘jol’. Some sources propose that the Old Norse entered Old French as ‘jolif’ and became the root for the Modern French word ‘joli’ which now means ‘pretty’ but originally meant ‘festive’ (and is also where the word jolly comes from!).

The tide in yuletide comes from the Old English 'tid' meaning 'point of time', 'season', or 'feast day' - does this remind you of the origins of another word we've looked at this month?


28 Dec 2022
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