Conspiracy Theory: Dutch People & The Moon
Maan... maanden... It takes approximately 30 days for the moon to complete a cycle.
Is there some connection here, or just something really lucky? It's almost like saying, "For 12 moons" when you mean 12 months. Anyone know?
I've been wondering this for about a month, actually... It just seems too close to NOT be connected. Also in other Germanic languages it's slightly close. MONd, MONaten. MOoN, MONth. MAAN, MAANden.
It is indeed the case that, as the division of time to months is quite obviously related to the moon cycles, the words for moon and for month in various languages are often related as well. In Finnish the relation is quite straightforward: "kuukausi" is a month", "kuu" is the moon and "kausi" is a period. In Indonesian the word for both moon and month is the same: "bulan".
The only language I can think (that I know!) of where there's not a direct obvious link between month and moon is Russian, and even then, the word for month is related to an older word that means moon, although the current word for moon is closer to the romance languages :) apologies that the device I'm currently on doesn't have Russian installed!
The real conspiracy is that all around the world, people keep track of their time in a 30 to 31 day cycle as well as an unrelated 7-day cycle. No globally observable features justifies those cycles. The 7-day cycle is just random. The only time cycles that somewhat would have made sense to have arisen independently is the year and lunar month, which corresponds to the solar cycle and lunar cycle respectively. This can't possibly be an accident of history. Conspiracy!
[Of course the real, real conspiracy is people forgetting their history]
The story I heard was that the moons period of 28 days gave early man a year [ 364days = 13months (moons)] plus one day . Hence the term a year and a day. In the English language, half a month (moon cycle) is fourteen days [a fortnight] (14 waxing and 14 waning) and half of that was 7 days = a week. That was how we got the week of seven days.