Slovene months

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The standard modern names of Slovene months are derived from Latin names, as in most European languages. There is also a standardized set of archaic Slovene month names. Many of these first occur in the Škofja Loka manuscript, written in 1466 by Martin of Loka:[1]

Standard archaic names[edit]

A gravestone in Rob with traditional Slovene month names: "Matia Peterlin. Born 22 January 1784, Died 24 March 1863. Long are the years, but quickly they have run their course. The Lord has called him into eternal life. Erected with love by his son Janez."
  • January prosinec 'the month of asking', 'millet bread', '(sun) shining through' - currently januar
  • February svečan 'Candlemas', 'icicles' - currently februar
  • March sušec 'earth dry enough to be suitable for cultivation' - currently marec
  • April mali traven 'small grass' - currently april
  • May veliki traven 'high grass' - currently maj
  • June rožnik 'flowers' - currently junij
  • July mali srpan 'small sickle' - currently julij
  • August veliki srpan 'large sickle' - currently avgust
  • September kimovec 'nodding (wheat)' - currently september
  • October vinotok 'wine flowing' - currently oktober
  • November listopad 'falling leaves' - currently november
  • December gruden 'biting (cold)' - currently december

However, multiple systems have been used in various Slovene-speaking regions, some of which were based on the names of saints (e.g., jurjevščak 'April', literally 'St. George's'), numbers (e.g., prvnik 'January', literally 'first'), or other features (e.g., vetrnik 'March', literally 'windy').



The name prosinec, associated with millet bread and the act of asking for something, was first written in the Škofja Loka manuscript.[1]


The name svečan may relate to icicles or the Candlemas.[2] This name originates from sičan,[3] written as svičan in the New Carniolan Almanac from 1775 and changed to its final form by Franc Metelko in his New Almanac from 1824.[2] The name was also spelled sečan, meaning "the month of cutting down of trees".[2] In 1848, a proposal was put forward in Kmetijske in rokodelske novice by the Slovene Society of Ljubljana to call this month talnik (related to ice melting), but it has not stuck. The idea was proposed by the priest and patriot Blaž Potočnik.[4] A name of February in Slovene was also vesnar, after the mythological character Vesna.[5]


The name sušec was first written in the Škofja Loka manuscript. Other names were used too, for example brezen and breznik, "the month of birches".[2]


The name mali traven was first written in the Škofja Loka manuscript.[2]


The name veliki traven was first written in the Škofja Loka manuscript. There are numerous other names for it, for example majnik, cvetnar, rožni mesec. The latter two relate to flowers blossoming.[2]

Further reading[edit]

  • Reindl, Donald F. 1995. Evidence for the Germanic origins of some Slovene month names. Slovene Studies 15: 169-78.
  • Snoj, Marko. 2003. Slovenski etimološki slovar. Ljubljana: Modrijan.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Stabej, Jože (1966). "Ob petstoletnici škofjeloškega zapisa slovenskih imen za mesece" [On the 500th Anniversary of the Škofja Loka Recording of Slovene Month Names]. Loški razgledi (in Slovenian) (Muzejsko društvo Škofja Loka [Museum Society of Škofja Loka]) 13. ISSN 0459-8210. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Koledar prireditev v letu 2007 in druge informacije občine Dobrova–Polhov Gradec" [The Calendar of Events and Other Information of the Municipality of Dobrova–Polhov Gradec] (in Slovenian). Municipality of Dobrova-Polhov Gradec. 2006. 
  3. ^ Vasmer, Max, ed. (1972). "Zeitschrift für slavische Philologie". 36–37. Markert&Petters. p. 115. 
  4. ^ "Slovenska imena mesecev" [Slovene Names of Months]. Kmetijske in rokodelske novice 6 (37). 13 September 1848. 
  5. ^ Bogataj, Janez (2005). "Slovenska mitologija – Vesna" [Slovene Mythology – Vesna]. Bilten; poštne znamke [Bulletin: Postage Stamps] (in Slovene, English, German) (56). ISSN 1318-6280. 

External links[edit]