Thursday, November 4, 2010


Brumal \BROO-muhl\ , adjectve;
1. Of winter

Well, appropriate for this cold and rainy day. This morning was one of those mornings where you are supposed to hit snooze and sleep until noon. Supposed to, of course, doesn't mean you can so here I am, working. Oh well, tomorrow morning is supposed to be the same and I don't have to work, so I'll just look forward to that.

According to
Brumal meant "belonging to winter" as far back as the 1510's and comes from Latin brumalis, which derives from bruma, meaning "winter." Bruma is also the source of Brumaire, which is the second month in the calendar of the French Republic and is literally "the foggy month." Their second month does not correspond to ours, in fact we are currently in the month of Brumaire, which runs from our October 22 through November 20. "The foggy month" was coined in 1793 by Fabre d'Eglantine, who took it from French brume ("fog").

While I'm certainly no expert, I did study French for a long time, so I was surprised to see this French month that I've never heard of. Turns out, there's a good reason for that: it was only used for 12 years from 1793-1805 and in Paris for 18 days in 1871. The French Republican Calendar (also called the French Revolutionary Calendar) was part of a larger effort by revolutionaries to wipe out various aspects of the ancien régime, or Old Rule. Among the changes was a new social and legal system, a new system of weights and measures, and the new calendar. Some of the changes were more successful than others; the new system for weights and measures ultimately became the modern metric system, but the calendar was killed by Napoleon in 1806.

*Today's word and the first definition were both taken from's 'Word of the Day' for Thursday, November 4

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