Module 11, Capitalization, Lesson 7:

Names on the Calendar


Capitalize the days of the week and the months of the year because they were (mostly) named after people. We don't capitalize seasons because they don't come from names unless they are part of the name of an event.

Our days of the week come from the Anglo-Saxons, who spoke a Germanic language. They borrowed them from the Romans, who named them after planets and celestial bodies - sun, moon, Mars, Venus, Saturn. You may recognize these roots if you know the days of the week in Spanish or Italian.
Monday (Moon's day)
Tuesday (Tew's day - a Norse god of war)
Wednesday (Woden's day - a Norse god who guides souls)
Thursday (Thor's day - another Norse god, the chief god)
Friday (Frige's day - another Norse goddess - Are you seeing a pattern yet?)
Saturday (Saturn's day - a Roman god - What's he doing here?)
Sunday (Sun's day)
January (Janus - Roman god of gates and doorways)
February (month of februa - purification)
March (Mars - Roman god of war)
April (Aphrodite - Greek goddess of love)
May (Maia - Roman goddess of spring)
June (Juno - Roman goddess of marriage and women)
July (named after Julius Caesar, the emperor who began a revision of the Roman calendar)
August (named after Augustus Caesar, who finished the calendar revision)
September (seventh month)
October (eighth month)
November (ninth month)
December (tenth month - Obviously things have changed since they were named)

Seasons are only capitalized if they are part of the name of something.

Fall Festival, Winter Ball

Always capitalize the names of holidays.

Memorial Day, Flag Day, Easter, Fourth of July, Yom Kippur

Always capitalize the abbreviations b.c., a.d., c.e., and b.c.e. Usually these abbreviations are capitalized but at the height of lowercase letters. Some computers will do this automatically. You can do it manually by changing the font size. It is okay to leave it the capital height; it just may look strange to you.

Do not capitalize a.m. and p.m. In the past, publishers used a.m. and p.m. or am and pm. Now, most use a.m. and p.m.

We will leave tomorrow at 9:00 a.m.
The Roman Empire began in around 27 b.c.e. and lasted until a.d. 476.
(Note that a.d. [Anno Domini] precedes the date.)

Practice What You've Learned

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Click on the words and letters that should be capitalized.
My Favorite Winter Holiday Is Christmas, Celebrated On December 25.
My Niece Was Born On Wednesday, June 25, 1997 At 2:00 p.m.p.m.p.m.
Every Autumn, The Fall Festival Is Held On The Third Thursday, Friday, And Saturday.
Juneteenth Is A Holiday That Commemorates The Abolition Of Slavery On June 19, 1865.
If You Like Pirates, You Should Enjoy September 19, International Talk Like A Pirate Day.
The Five-day Hindu Festival Diwali Began On Tuesday, November 13th In 2012, But Will Be On Thursday, October 23rd In 2014.
My Doctor's Appointment Is On Wednesday At 2:15 p.m.p.m.p.m.
Cleopatra Was Born In October 69 b.c.b.c.b.c. Or b.c.e.b.c.e.b.c.e.b.c.e. And Died August 12, 30 b.c.b.c.b.c.
The Romans Invaded Britain In a.d.a.d.a.d. 43 And Stayed Until Around a.d.a.d.a.d. 410.
In The u.s.a.U.s.a.U.S.a.U.S.A., Most Calendars Begin On Sunday; In Other Countries Many Calendars Begin On Monday.