This blog is for everyone who uses words.

The ordinary-sized words are for everyone, but the big ones are especially for children.

Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Nuts and Bolts: Christmas is coming.

Steaua Sun

Badnjak will soon be here.

Who? you may be asking - but it's not a who, but a what, because in Croatia Badnjak means Christmas Eve. The njak part of the word translates as yearbook, but what's bad about it I'm afraid I haven't been able to find out.

Lots of languages, like English, basically go for the Christmas-is-coming approach: Portuguese véspera de Natal, Danish: juleaften, French veille de Noel, Swedish julafton, Greek Παραμονή Χριστουγέννων, Roumanian Ajunul Crăciunului, Italian vigilia di Natale.

But in Spanish they have the lovely Nochebuena, which is Good Night; and in Germany and Ukraine it's holy evening: Heiligabend or святий вечір, respectively.

But I think the Czech phrase for Christmas Eve is best of all, so I wish everyone in The Word Den a happy Štědrý den.

It means, very beautifully, Generous Night.

Word To Use Today: eve. This word is a variation of even (the evening sort of even) from the Old English ǣfen, and is related to lots of similar Germanic words.

PS Family tradition here calls today Christmas Adam, Adam coming, of course, before Eve.

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