Posted in Chatty

Word Origins: Big Word Summer

It’s friggin’ hot here, and while it’s usually hot in late July, this has been excessively hot for the area. Heat warnings galore! My puppy is spending about ten minutes outside and most, then coming inside to slurp a gallon of water and pass out on the cool tile floor for a few hours. I’m not far behind.

So today’s word is “summer,” and let me tell ya: I thought this would be a boring AF word to search but the results told a different story. Who knew?!

Origins of “summer”

When did it first get used?
1300s, but it had other points of innovation all the way up through 1941!

What does it mean?
Hot season of the year. In Old Norse, that was starting on the first Thursday between April 9 and April 15, which is weirdly specific and very sensible for Norwegians way up in the north, I guess.

What did it come from?
The word summer itself is so old that the roots I found were basically just looking at all the other words in old languages that also meant summer, which wasn’t really helpful. But I did learn a lot of other little things related to summer that were fascinating! Such as:

“Summer school” was first in 1810, which is apparently when schoolchildren started seeing consequences of slacking during the regular school days.

“Summer resort” was first in 1823, when families sick of dealing with their kids being in school AND summer school needed some kind of escape for the season. (I mean, probably.)

“Summer camp” became a thing in 1886, which families got sick of their kids being around just all the time between school and summer school and those summer resort family vacations; summer camp became a much-needed time of separation for all (Again… probably.)

And finally, “summerize” does not in this case mean “to convey key points in a brief description” as I had thought, but to prepare something for summer. I guess that makes total sense because I hear winterize all the time living in a snowy area, but why have I never heard summerize?

Now, I’m off to summerize my wardrobe and skin!


Reader, traveler, photographer, and always looking to learn!

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