Old English mona, from Proto-Germanic *menon- (cf. Old Saxon and Old High German mano, Old Frisian mona, Old Norse mani, Danish maane, Dutch maan, German Mond, Gothic mena "moon"), from PIE *me(n)ses- "moon, month" (cf. Sanskrit masah "moon, month;" Avestan ma, Persian mah, Armenian mis "month;" Greek mene "moon," men "month;" Latin mensis "month;" Old Church Slavonic meseci, Lithuanian menesis "moon, month;" Old Irish mi, Welsh mis, Breton miz "month"), probably from root *me- "to measure," in reference to the moon's phases as the measure of time.
A masculine noun in Old English. In Greek, Italic, Celtic, Armenian the cognate words now mean only "month." Greek selene (Lesbian selanna) is from selas "light, brightness (of heavenly bodies)." Old Norse also had tungl "moon," ("replacing mani in prose" - Buck), evidently an older Germanic word for "heavenly body," cognate with Gothic tuggl, Old English tungol "heavenly body, constellation," of unknown origin or connection. Hence Old Norse tunglfylling "lunation," tunglœrr "lunatic" (adj.).
Extended 1665 to satellites of other planets. To shoot the moon "leave without paying rent" is British slang from c.1823; card-playing sense perhaps influenced by gambler's shoot the works (1922) "go for broke" in shooting dice. The moon race and the U.S. space program of the 1960s inspired a number of coinages, including, from those skeptical of the benefits to be gained, moondoggle (cf. boondoggle). The man in the moon is mentioned since early 14c.; he carries a bundle of thorn-twigs and is accompanied by a dog. Some Japanese, however, see a rice-cake-making rabbit in the moon.
c.1600, "to expose to moonlight;" later "idle about" (1836), "move listlessly" (1848), probably on notion of being moonstruck. The meaning "to flash the buttocks" is first recorded 1968, U.S. student slang, from moon (n.) "buttocks" (1756), "probably from the idea of pale circularity" [Ayto]. See moon (n.). Related: Mooned; mooning.
Our Living Language : The Earth's Moon is a desolate and quiet place. The only natural satellite of Earth, it consists almost entirely of rock, shows no signs of ongoing geologic activity, has no water, and has a very thin atmosphere consisting primarily of sodium. But our Moon does not present a typical case for planetary satellites. Over the last 50 years, over a hundred more moons have been discovered in the solar system, so that they now total 138, nearly all of them orbiting the larger planets Jupiter, Saturn, and Uranus (Mercury, Venus, and Pluto have no moons, while Mars has two). Because they are so far from the Sun, these moons are for the most part extremely cold. Io, one of Jupiter's 63 known moons, is an exception. It is the most geologically active body in the solar system, with almost constant volcanic activity and a surface covered by cooling lava. Some scientists think that another moon of Jupiter, Europa, may have liquid water capable of supporting life underneath a thick layer of surface ice. Titan, one of Saturn's moons, may also be capable of supporting primitive life in the ocean of liquid methane on its frigid surface.
A natural satellite of a planet; an object that revolves around a planet. The planets vary in the number of their moons; for example, Mercury and Venus have none, the Earth has one, and Jupiter has seventeen or more. The planets' moons, like the planets themselves, shine by reflected light.
Note: The Earth's moon is about 240,000 miles away and is about 2,000 miles in diameter. The volume of the Earth is fifty times that of the moon; the mass of the Earth is about eighty times that of the moon. The moon has no atmosphere, and its gravity is about one-sixth that of the Earth.
Cheap whiskey, esp whiskey made by unlicensed distillers; moonshine: a couple of pints of moon/ using it to transport moon (1928+)
[second noun sense fr moon, ''buttocks,'' found by 1756]
heb. yareah, from its paleness (Ezra 6:15), and lebanah, the "white" (Cant. 6:10; Isa. 24:23), was appointed by the Creator to be with the sun "for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years" (Gen. 1:14-16). A lunation was among the Jews the period of a month, and several of their festivals were held on the day of the new moon. It is frequently referred to along with the sun (Josh. 10:12; Ps. 72:5, 7, 17; 89:36, 37; Eccl. 12:2; Isa. 24:23, etc.), and also by itself (Ps. 8:3; 121:6). The great brilliance of the moon in Eastern countries led to its being early an object of idolatrous worship (Deut. 4:19; 17:3; Job 31:26), a form of idolatry against which the Jews were warned (Deut. 4:19; 17:3). They, however, fell into this idolatry, and offered incense (2 Kings 23:5; Jer. 8:2), and also cakes of honey, to the moon (Jer. 7:18; 44:17-19, 25).