Aprēlis mōnaþ, m.n: the month of April. (“ah-pray-lees moh-nath”)
hærfest-mōnaþ, m.n: harvest month, September. (“har-vest-mon-ath”)
Kazutomo Karasawa says, ‘These records [i.e. Bede and Old English Martyrology] suggest that the month-name [Haligmonað] is related to the heathen harvest festivals, which are often said to have been held around the autumnal equinox in the latter half of September.’ Ælfric’s Grammar XVIII calls the month of September hærfestmonoð ‘harvest-month’.**Kazutomo Karasawa, The Old English Metrical Calendar (Menologium) (Cambridge: D. S. Brewer, 2015), pp. 116-17.
hālig-mōnaþ, m.n: holy month, September. (“ha-lee-moh-nath”)Further information from Kazutomo Karasawa’s The Old English Metrical Calendar (Menologium) (Cambridge, 2015):
Haligmonð, heleϸum geϸinged, / fereð to folce, swa hit foregleawe, / ealde uϸwitan, æror fundan, / Septembres fær…
—The Old English Metrical Calendar (Menologium), lines 163-67a
Haligmonað comes to the folk as arranged for people, as the prudent, ancient scholars formerly found it, the coming of September…
—translation by K. Karasawa
According to Bede’s De temporum ratione, ‘Haligmonath is the month of religious rituals.’ The Old English Martyrology says that this was the month when pre-Christian Anglo-Saxons sacrificed to their ‘devil-idols’. (Karasawa, p. 116)
Wēod-mōnaþ, m.n: August; literally “weed-month”. (“weh-ohd-mon-ath”)
And ϸæs symle scriϸ
ymb seofon niht ϸæs sumere gebrihted
Weodmonað on tun, welhwær bringeð
—The Old English Metrical Calendar (Menologium), lines 136b-40a
And then after seven nights, the summer-glorified Weodmonað always comes to town; everywhere August brings to mighty people Lammas Day. (trans. by K. Karasawa)
The Old English Martyrology says that August is called Weodmonað “because [weeds] most greatly grow in this month”.*
*Kazutomo Karasawa, The Old English Metrical Calendar (Menologium) (Cambridge: D. S. Brewer, 2015), p. 111.
Mǣd-mōnaþ, m.n: yet another word for July! (“mad-mon-ath”)
giūluling, m.n: another word for July. (yee-oo-loo-ling”)
æftera lȳða, m.n: the “second Līða” or “after Līða”, i.e. July. (“af-ter-uh leeth-uh”)
See explanation of Liða in the post on Ærra Liða.
ǣrra līða, m.n: the “former Līða” or “first Līða”, i.e. June. (“ar-rah leeth-ah”)
Þænne monað bringð
ymb twa and feower tiida lange,
Ærra Liða, us to tune,
Iunius on geard, on ϸam gim astihð
on heofenas up hyhst on geare,
tungla torhtast, and of tille agrynt,
to sete sigeð. Wyle syððan leng
grund behealdan and gangan lator
ofer foldan wang fægerust l[e]ohta,
—The Old English Metrical Calendar (Menologium), lines 106b-115a
Then after two and four days, the (next) month, Ærra Liða, June, brings long (daytime) hours to town, to our enclosure, during which the gem, the brightest of stars, ascends into heaven above, highest in the year, and descends from its standing-place, sinks to its setting. Then the fairest of lights and of things in this world wishes to behold the ground longer and go more slowly over the earth. (trans. by K. Karasawa)
Kazutomo Karasawa says that the month Liða seems to have covered both June and July, with June called Ærra Liða (former Liða) and July called Æfterra Liða (latter Liða). According to Bede’s De temporum ratione, “Lida is said to be amiable and navigable since, in both of these months [i.e. June and July], the serenity of winds is pleasant and people are accustomed to navigating on plain surfaces of the sea.” The Old English Martyrology says the months are called Liða “because the air and the winds are then mild”. Karasawa observes, “Bede and the martyrologist etymologically connect the month-name Liða (also spelt Lida) with liðe ‘gentle, soft’, liðan ‘to travel, sail’, lid ‘ship’, lida ‘sailor’, etc.”*
*Kazutomo Karasawa, The Old English Metrical Calendar (Menologium) (Cambridge: D. S. Brewer, 2015), p. 105
(You can see my review of the book here.)
þri-milce, m.n: the old name for the month of May, “three-milkings”. (“three-mill-cheh”)
Swylce in burh raϸe
[embe syx niht ϸæs], smicere on gearwum,
wudum and wyrtum cymeð wlitig scriðan
Þrymilce on tun; ϸearfe bringeð
Maius micle geond menigeo gehwær.
—The Old English Metrical Calendar (Menologium), lines 75b-79
Likewise, after six nights, beautiful Þrymylce comes gliding quickly into the citadel, into town, elegantly clad in adornments, woods and plants; May brings much of what is needed among a multitude of people everywhere. (trans. by K. Karasawa)
According to Bede’s De temporum ratione, May “used to be called Thrimilchi because in that month cows were milked three times a day, such was the fertility of Britain or Germania, from which the nation of the Angles migrated to Britain” (Karasawa, p. 101).
See Kazutomo Karasawa’s The Old English Metrical Calendar (Menologium) (Cambridge, 2015).
ēaster-mōnaþ, m.n: April, Easter-month…although not this year! (“eh-ah-ster moh-nath”)