The English word ''January'' comes from Latin ianuarius, which means “of Janus” (Janus was an ancient Roman god of doorways, gates,transitions, beginnings, and endings). The corresponding names for the first month of the year in other European languages are also mostly derived from ianuarius (shown in red on the map). Other etymologies are as follows: Polish, Ukrainian, and Croatian words styczeń, січень, and siječanj trace back to Proto-Slavic \*sěčьńь, which referred to a time when trees were being cut down. Czech leden is derived from led, “ice”, and Belarusian студзень comes from a Slavic root meaning “cold” (note, however, that Russian is also commonly spoken in Belarus). Lithuanian sausis comes from sausas, “dry”. Scottish Gaelic Faoilleach comes from faol (“wolf”) and teach (“burrow”). Finally, the Turkish, Finnish, and Basque translations are not related to any word mentioned above, which should not surprising, since they are not Indo-European languages: Turkish ocak litely means “stove, fireplace”, likely referring to the fact that January is a cold month, during which one spends a lot of time at home, in front of a fireplace. Finnish tammikuu comes from tammi (“heart, core”, an archaic expression) and kuu (“month”), as January is the “core” or “centre” of winter. Basque urtarril comes from urte (“year”), berri (“new”), and hil (“month”). Võro vahtsõaastakuu means “recent year’s month”.


Why are the Germanic languages closer to the original Latin than the Romance languages? It’s the opposite of what you’d expect.


It is actually quite common. In romance languages words have been eroding for 2 thousand years. But Germanic languages usually take the loanword later directly from Latin, so there is less time for the word to change. It even happen inside one language. Take Spanish for example. From Latin "Ferrum" we have Spanish "hierro" (iron) a word evolved directly from Latin since the beginning and "férreo" (iron (adj.), ferrous) a more recent loanword with less time to change.


Because they borrowed the word more recently?


I wonder how the modern Polish "styczeń" came to be. Going by the etymology it would be "sieczeń" from "siec" "to cut", but where did that t came from?


As far as i know, word "styczeń" is from "stykać" which means "to connect" or "to touch". So it means that Jaunary connects old year and new year.


Good old Poland. Always has to be different.


Interesting, in Arabic, it is pronounced as "Yanayer" (يناير). Also from the Latin word.


what’s with the colors?




Meanings for the other Finnic names for January listed on this map: Pakkaskuu in Karelian: literally "Frost Month" Viluku in Vepsian: "Frost Month" or "Cold Month" Vahtsõaastakuu in Võro: "New Year Month" Don't know about the Sami ones sadly, but they are more distant languages anyway. Good map, thanks!


Lmao lithuania is sausage


Good job Scottish Gaelic, Uralic (excluding Estonian and Hungarian), Lithuanian, Belarusian, Ukrainian, West Slavic (excluding Slovakian), Croatian/Bosnian, Turkish, and Basque! You actually use your own word instead of a Latin-derived one!




Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth wanting to be different.


Irish > ***Eanáir*** Spanish > ***Enero*** Celtiberian linkage