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Can we get a transliteration of the arabic phrase? -- (talk) 12:07, 23 February 2008 (UTC)

I have given better explanation of the Arabic term. Please check! —Preceding unsigned comment added by Libyansamarkand (talkcontribs) 13:06, 12 March 2008 (UTC)

Not archaic[edit]

I removed the part saying it's archaic. If it's used in the rest of the English speaking world (including England), then it's not archaic. Wdywtk (talk) 06:21, 28 January 2008 (UTC)

British measure of time, corresponding to a period of two weeks. Although in common use in UK, Americans have usually no idea what it is.

removed the above for US-bias. what about NZ, Aus, Canada, do they use it or not? -- Tarquin 19:42 Jan 23, 2003 (UTC)

Well, VMS had its microfortnight, but otherwise it is pretty rare. That said, lots of Americans certainly know what it means. While sneering at Americans and our sloppy measurements, keep in mind that for many of us, semi-weekly and semi-monthly are synonyms. In Spanish, "fortnight" is until 15 days and "in a week" is after 8 days. Ortolan88

yup, in French, we say "quinze jours" for two weeks. "8 days" for a week is sometimes said in the UK; some French speakers say it too. -- Tarquin 20:31 Jan 23, 2003 (UTC)

I'm British, and have never in my life heard "8 days" used to mean "a week" (unless you count a certain Beatles song!); I'm not saying that usage doesn't exist, but if it does then it's very rare indeed. Loganberry (Talk) 00:26, 22 September 2005 (UTC)

... and orto, I wasn't sneering. The phrase "Americans have usually no idea what it is" implies a US audience; otherwise it would have to make a similar statement for all other english-speaking countries. -- t

The term fortnight' is used in Australia, yes. MinorEdit 02:47, July 31, 2005 (UTC) Many government payments to public servants and social security recipients are paid fortnightly in Australia, keeping the term in current usage. Halmym (talk) 08:29, 28 March 2016 (UTC)

I too have caused confusion when using the expression 'fortnight' to a mainly American audience at a NATO briefing when I was stopped and asked what I was talking about. DickyP (talk) 16:31, 30 August 2015 (UTC)

More or less like in France, in Italy we say "quindici giorni" (15 days) and we mean two weeks. We also have the term "Quindicinale" that means both "every two weeks" and "twice a month".

_________"Millifortnights (about 20 minutes) and nanofortnights (1.2096 milliseconds) have also been used occasionally in computer science, usually in an attempt to be deliberately over-complex and obscure." ??? This really has sense?

Effective usage[edit]

That paragraph considering the payroll customs in United States should be deleted, as the article is about the term "fortnight" and not "whatever happens in a 2 weeks term". Furthermore the article clearly says that the term is uncommon in the US, so US traditions shouldn't play much of a roll anyways. -- 790 10:25, 13 January 2007 (UTC)

Is this a bread roll or calling the roll? Surely you mean role? This is not just a rude comment - I bring it up as a good example of how we get variants and changes in language, which of course, is the underlying theme of this topic. Please feel free to delete it! DickyP (talk) 11:37, 31 August 2015 (UTC)

Do not remove the paragraph considering the payroll customs in United States. I live in the United States and did not know what a Fortnight was. The paragraph helped me understand the difference about Fortnight,Bi-weekly etc.-- (talk) 20:08, 5 April 2009 (UTC)

Blocking Users[edit]

Apparently you can block users on Wikis with Fortnights as a time limit. See here for an example. Scroll down to near the bottom.--Eloc 09:00, 22 July 2007 (UTC)

Unusual usages[edit]

I've removed this section.

  • The fortnight is the base unit of time in the FFF (Furlong/Firkin/Fortnight) System of units.
This remains minus the spelling out of "FFF".
This too remains but should prehaps be removed for lack of citation.
This is dealt with at FFF System.
  • Millifortnights (about 20 minutes) and nanofortnights (1.2096 milliseconds) have also been used occasionally in computer science, usually in an attempt to be deliberately over-complex and obscure. The aim is generally to slow users down, allowing them to set parameters only after some thought.
as above
There'll be many strange & unusual units involving the fortnight. I don't see how this one is notable. If anyone should want a conversion, it can easily be derived.
This also dealt with at FFF System.

Jɪmp 01:23, 3 March 2008 (UTC)

Linking to countries[edit]

I don't mean to be disruptive but I've delinked country names again. The only relevance any particular country has to this artilce is whether or not they use the term. The question could be asked of any English-speaking country. Should we link to them all? Let's keep relevant links out of the article per WP:OVERLINK. JIMp talk·cont 00:39, 9 June 2008 (UTC)


In Welsh the term pythefnos, meaning "fifteen nights", is used instead. This is in keeping with the Welsh term for a week, which is wythnos ("eight nights") - errr 8+8=16 not 15??? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:02, 5 January 2009 (UTC)

|N|D|N|D|N| 3 nights = 2 days (talk) 05:38, 14 February 2009 (UTC)


Hey Biweekly redirects here, but Biweekly can mean either once every two weeks (i.e. fortnightly) or twice per week. Can it be changed so that this is not the case? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:24, 23 January 2009 (UTC)

I agree that Biweekly and fortnight, although they made have similar meanings are used so differently that they should not be combined. (talk) 14:43, 16 December 2013 (UTC)

Wikipedia is not a dictionary; stop adding translations[edit]

Wikipedia is not a dictionary or translation service. This article does not exist to provide translations of the term or concept of "two weeks" in every known language, or go into details about whether or not the idea is recognised in this language or that. If another-language Wikipedia has an article about the topic, then certainly add an interwiki link to it at page bottom, but please stop adding musings about 14-day periods in Welsh, Hebrew and Arabic. — SMcCandlish Talk⇒ ʕ(Õلō Contribs. 05:17, 29 September 2010 (UTC)

I guess the request was not honored and there are over 15 languages in that section now. I find this section interesting and informative. -- AstroU (talk) 02:53, 28 December 2014 (UTC)


The word given is not 14 days. Greek wiktionary article says that (frankly, number 15 is the only thing I surely understand in that article). Vladislav.kuzkokov (talk) 09:27, 21 March 2011 (UTC)


The latest edit claims that the time between a full moon and a new moon or vice versa is equal to exactly 14.77 days. This doesn't seem even vaguely plausible. It may be close to 14.77 days but why exactly? Unless a ref can be found, the word "exactly" must go. JIMp talk·cont 01:22, 19 July 2011 (UTC)

This is a well established fact. Why doesn't it seem "vaguely plausible" to you? I added a ref in place of your tag. As to why exactly, the moon orbits the earth every 29.53 days, exactly. It's just gravity, it is not moody. --TimL (talk) 16:04, 19 July 2011 (UTC)
Is that a typo or are you now saying that twice 14.77 is exactly 29.53? It doesn't seem vaguely plausible because I know of no physical mechanism tying the Earth's rotation to the Moon's orbit such that we'd end up with an exact ratio of 1477:50. (I could, however, think of a few that would make it vary.) Thanks for the ref though but I'm afraid I don't have access to the book. I wonder what they say exactly. JIMp talk·cont 21:14, 19 July 2011 (UTC)
I see your point now with the word "exactly". Would removing the word suffice? "Approximately" or "about" would suggest some ambiguity. The signifigant digits used represent the precision to which scientists can reliably measure the moons orbit, although I have not looked into how that is done. How about "precisely" suggesting a number with precision, not exactness? BTW the book simply says it orbits every 29.53 days. Because we have reached consensus on improper use of the word exactly I will go ahead and remove it, but I'd still appreciate your feedback. --TimL (talk) 21:57, 19 July 2011 (UTC)
Great. I wouldn't suggest we need any qualifier. There was none in the source but but the readers know what's going on. When we read a measured vlaue (such as "14.77") it's normal to assume errors (we'd take the value as "14.77±0.005"). Adding our own qualifier feels too much like original research to me. JIMp talk·cont 23:14, 19 July 2011 (UTC)
As it turns out (which seems like it should have been obvious in retrospect!) that value is the arithmetic mean over a year. wolfram . --TimL (talk) 07:54, 21 July 2011 (UTC)

Why is the term "fortnight" virtually unknown in the USA?[edit]

Do we know why the term "fortnight" is virtually unknown in the USA? It seems odd, given that other words (e.g. "gotten") that are derived from older forms of English have survived in American, but not British, speech. Headhitter (talk) 17:28, 5 December 2011 (UTC)

I don't think it's unknown here. I've used it all of my life. Can it's rareness be verified somewhere? (talk) 01:47, 25 May 2013 (UTC)

For those that read novels, it is a familiar term (but they may have to come here to learn the meaning.) -- Charles Edwin Shipp (talk) 02:45, 28 December 2014 (UTC)

Fourteen days[edit]

Why would a fortnight mean fourteen days when the word itself says fourteen nights! As mentioned in the article, every other romance language has an equivelant word that means 15 days which I'd assume this English word also means the passage of 14 nights or 15 days.Metricmike (talk) 00:24, 26 March 2012 (UTC)