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Search Results for: solstice

  1. “Equinox” vs. “Solstice”: The Difference Between Them Is Like Night And Day

    Four times a year, the season officially changes. And each change is marked by a specific point known as an equinox or a solstice. One term is used for the transition from winter to spring and summer to fall, and one is used for the switch from spring to summer and fall to winter. Join us on a journey through the seasons as we break …

  2. What Does “Winter Solstice” Mean?

    The winter solstice lasts for just one moment. It occurs exactly when Earth’s axial tilt is farthest away from the sun. This usually happens around December 21 or 22 in the Northern Hemisphere or June 20 or 21 in the Southern Hemisphere. If you’re in the Northern Hemisphere, during the solstice the sun will be at its southernmost point in the sky. The higher in …

  3. What Does The Word “Summer” Mean?

    Summer is the season for basking in the warm sun and rejoicing in the freedom of vacation. Summer officially starts in late June—but try telling that to the students who’ve been enjoying their school break for weeks by that point! So let’s take a look at the name summer and what it actually means, while answering that age-old question: when exactly does summer begin and …

  4. Where Do Winter Words Like “Frost” And “Cozy” Come From?

    Depending on where you live, the winter holidays come at a time of year that is cold, dark, and not very pleasant. What makes it all bearable, though, is that you can get together with friends and family to share meals, exchange gifts, and just hang out. But, what happens when the conversation starts to run dry? Don’t fret, we put together a list of …

  5. Where Does The Name “Winter” Come From?

    It’s easy to tell when winter is coming in the parts of the world that feel the full force of the four seasons. The leaves have all come and gone from the trees, the air regularly has a distinct bite to it, and people don’t leave the house without their winter caps (and the mountains put on their winter snow caps, too). In the Northern …

  6. What Exactly Is The Spring Equinox?

    We get pretty excited about the spring equinox bringing us out of winter and officially starting the season of spring. But what exactly is the spring equinox? And does an equinox happen at the start of every season? First, let’s get into the equinox, which actually occurs just twice a year. The word equinox comes from Latin and means “equality of night and day.” So, …

  7. “Autumn” vs. “Fall”: What Was The Season Called First?

    ’Tis the time of colorful foliage, crisp air, and pumpkin spice. It’s many people’s favorite season—and it’s the only one with more than one commonly used name. But what to call it—autumn or fall? And what came first? Prepare for the dawn of sweater weather with some insights into the origins of fall and autumn—and another, even older name for the season. The names autumn …

  8. How The Month Of December Got Its Name

    Ah, December, that time of year when storefronts are festooned with holiday decorations, and another year is reaching its close. If you live in the Northern Hemisphere, December might mean pulling off your boots so you can curl up with your smartphone and read Dictionary.com (hey, we can dream). But, what does the word December mean in the dictionary? And, where did the 12th month of …

  9. The Origin Of Dog Days

    It’s hot again, up in the Northern Hemisphere. It’s that time of year when the sun shines its most unforgiving beams, baking the ground and, indeed, us. It’s the portion of summer known as the hottest time of the year. Or, more delightfully, the dog days. Contrary to common conjecture, the dog days do not take their peculiar name from weather that “isn’t fit for …

  10. These Words Describe Cancers Perfectly

    It’s almost the end of June, which means summer is here and Cancer season is upon us. Obviously we’re talking about people born between June 21–July 22, meaning they are born under the Cancer sign of the zodiac. Cancer is the fourth sign (after Gemini and before Leo) in the zodiac calendar. Cancer (the word is Latin for crab) is also one of the four cardinal signs–specifically, it …

  11. Is “Noel” The Same Thing As “Christmas”?

    Christmas is a Christian holiday to celebrate the birth of Jesus, the central figure of Christianity. Most Christians celebrate the holiday on December 25. (Fun fact: it is actually celebrated on January 7 in the Orthodox Church due to the use of a different calendar.) Everyone knows this holiday as Christmas, right? But did you know there’s also another name for it? First, what does …

  12. What do you call a sandwich made on a roll?

    Do you call it a sub? A grinder? A hoagie? A poor boy? That all depends on where you live. The Dictionary of American Regional English has been more than 40 years in the making. In the early 60s, lexicographers and linguists led by the University of Wisconsin at Madison sprawled all over the country in search of unique words. They found zin-zins (a duck …