Talk:Thirty Days Hath September

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Alternate Lines[edit]

Try this one - it's a cracker


boo yah - come on that's gold--Hamishgordon (talk) 15:13, 29 March 2018 (UTC)

The way I was always taught this rhyme had some different lines, which are bolded:

Thirty days hath September
April, June, and November
February has twenty-eight alone,
All the rest have thirty-one.
Except in leap year, that's the time
When February days have twenty-nine.

Think this could be added? -- RattleMan 08:48, 26 December 2005 (UTC)

Interesting. I'd never come across that variant, but Google shows quite a few people using it. And it has a very interesting feature, which I've commented on in the article. — Haeleth Talk 12:47, 26 December 2005 (UTC)
Same, I teach this:
Thirty days hath September
April, June,and November
All the rest have Thirty-one.
Exempt for February;
witch has 28 days clear;
and 29 each leap year.
-- (talk) 18:26, 26 May 2009 (UTC)
...which... — LlywelynII 04:46, 28 February 2017 (UTC)
I was taught:
Thirty days hath (has) September
April, June,and November
All the rest have Thirty-one.
Except for February;
which has 28 or 29
Breawycker (talk) 14:35, 11 October 2010 (UTC)
This was taught to me as a child, and none I've heard since has the same ring or appeal as far as I'm concerned. Alternatives to this were only brought to my attention recently, when my children were taught some non rhyming variant they brought home from school one day.
30 days hath September
April, June, and November
31 the others date
Excepting February 28
But in a leap year we divine
February, 29
Cheers, HDKilla (talk) 12:45, 20 April 2012 (UTC)

Other mnemotics?[edit]

Believe it or not but I had never heard of that mnemotic rhyme before!
The way I learned the duration of the months back in kindergarden was to look at my right hand, fist closed.
It works like this: count the months over your knuckles and the grooves between them.
The knuckle of the index is January - it sticks out, so it's a "long" month (31 days).
February is the groove between the index and middle finger knuckle (a "short" month).
March is the middle finger knuckle (a "long" month) etc.
When you reach the pinkie (July, "long"), start over at the index (August, "long" again) and continue...
Simple, right? Sure, it doesn't tell you that February has 28 or 29 days rather than 30 but I never found that hard to remember. 19:10, 5 May 2006 (UTC)

Other calendar mnemonics are discussed in the main article on mnemonics. It has one like that, but using both hands instead of going over one hand twice. — Haeleth Talk 21:54, 5 May 2006 (UTC)
I don't see anything about "knuckles" in the current version of the mnemonics page. How about putting a mention of it here? Here's a book from "Google books" that talks about it:
Lardner, Dionysius (1855). (Encyclopedias and dictionaries). Walton and Maberly. p. 152. If the months be reckoned in numerical order from the beginning of the year, the odd months, as far as the seventh, and the even ones afterwards, are those which have thirty-one days. Thus, they are the first, third, fifth, seventh, eighth, tenth and twelfth, which are January, March, May, July, August, October and December.
"When we close the hand there are four projecting knuckles of the four fingers, with depressions between them. If we give the knuckles and intermediate depressions the names of the successive months, recommencing from the first knuckle, after having once gone over them, we shall find that the months of thirty-one days are those which fall upon the knuckles.
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I suggest saying something short, such as "There is also a mnemonic using knuckles to remember the numbers of days of the months," with a footnote to the above citation, so that the quote appears in the footnote. --Coppertwig (talk) 21:40, 18 January 2008 (UTC)
Great, but that has nothing to do with the topic of this article. — LlywelynII 04:48, 28 February 2017 (UTC)

Other languages[edit]

Since the Gregorian Calander is used world wide, how do the mnenomics go in other languages? Tabletop 11:37, 1 October 2006 (UTC)

There was a time I only knew the German version. I speak English natively, but studied German in high school. I don't remember the whole thing anymore, but it started "Dreisig tage hat September". MichaelCrawford (talk) 08:34, 29 March 2008 (UTC)
Yeah, we should have examples but—like with English—we should limit it to NOTABLE, SOURCEd ones with some context. For example, this blog entry has a comment with the French lyrics
Trente jours ont novembre, [Thirty days have November,]
Avril, juin et septembre; [April, June, and September;]
De vingt-huit est février; [Of twenty-eight is February;]
Trente et un ont janvier [Thirty-and-one have January]
Et mars, et août et mai, [And March and August and May,]
Décembre, octobre et juillet. [December, October, and July.]
and another with the Italian
Trenta giorni ha novembre
con aprile, giugno e settembre,
di 28 ce n’è uno.
Tutti gli altri ne hanno trentuno.
and this page had the Swedish example
Trettio dagar har september, [Thirty days have September,]
April, juni och november. [April, June, and November.]
Februari tju'åtta allen, [February twenty-eight alone,]
Alla de övriga trettioen. [All the others thirty-one.]
But we shouldn't include them until we find some better sourcing and some reason to think that they're notable. — LlywelynII 06:58, 28 February 2017 (UTC)

A rhyming version[edit]

I've only ever known one and it rhymes better than any of the others:

Thirty days hath September,
April, June, and November;
Thirty-one the others date,
Excepting February, twenty-eight;
But in leap year we assign
February, twenty-nine.

So I've put that in.Hilesd 06:35, 13 June 2007 (UTC)

And Another version that actually rhymes:
Dj1071 (talk) 03:44, 3 February 2012 (UTC)
Neither of those is sourced or notable, so I've taken them back out again. Feel free to create entries at Wikisource or Wikiquote, though. — LlywelynII 06:58, 28 February 2017 (UTC)

why the knuckles?[edit]

The knuckle stuff really doesn't belong in an article about this poem.

It's a completely independent method for remembering the length of the months and doesn't depend on or support the poem in any way. It should be in it's own article. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:05, 28 April 2008 (UTC)

I'd like to to see what title you would suggest for that article! Tpacw (talk) 12:45, 19 September 2008 (UTC)
It's strange how the author of the section goes to such lengths to describe how to count with your fingers, when the purported source does not mention it at all. And I think I'm right in saying the pointer knuckle in on the index finger. Aoeuidhtns (talk) 16:53, 6 May 2009 (UTC)
Fixed. — LlywelynII 04:53, 28 February 2017 (UTC)

One Source[edit]

This article relies mainly on the Middle English Lyrics source, which is unlikely to contain the modern versions listed in the article. Each version should have a reference to a published, reliable source. twilsonb (talk) 22:11, 14 July 2009 (UTC)

Yup. Purged. — LlywelynII 04:53, 28 February 2017 (UTC)

Is the translation original research?[edit]

The translation was tagged as possible original research. Technically, it's not translated from "non-English" material, but it seems equivalent to what is allowed: Wikipedia:No_original_research#Translations. SandyFace (talk) 07:37, 25 August 2009 (UTC)

Should an accurate translation be labled original research if the text translated is not? Personly I think not... I am going to remove it. If it is infact justified please explain? (talk) 09:52, 8 January 2010 (UTC)
If it's accurate, it falls under WP:BLUE. We shouldn't publish unhelpful info but we should translate foreign text and we don't need to find other people who already did it and published it, which is often impossible. That said, if there is a famous or well-done example to cite, we should use that instead of our homebrews. — LlywelynII 04:55, 28 February 2017 (UTC)

knuckle method should get its own page[edit]

Yes, the knuckle method is far superior to the verse method and should get its own page.

I was taught the knuckle method of working out the days of the month by a Greek lady when I was about 11. I never bothered with the verse mnemomic after that. I have taught lots of kids the knuckle system and not one has ever reverted to the "30 days has..." business. It can be learnt in seconds, and is never forgotten. The English seem to persist with the witless rhyme (I don't know why) while nearly all Europeans follow the knuckle system. If you bother to remember that the first knuckle can be an August as well as a January, then you need never have to count beyond 7 months.

The biggest advantage of the knuckle over the verse system - and I seem to be the only person who has recognised this - is that the knuckle system SHOWS clearly how the number of days of the month alternate between 30 and 31, with knuckles (hills) being 31, and the following valley between the knuckles being 30. This alternating sequence is true for the whole year except for the adjacent months of July and August, which both have 31 days. By an astonishing coincidence, in the knuckle system, one moves directly from the knuckle of the last finger to the knuckle of the first finger and there is no intervening "valley". Thus, the knuckle system correctly identifies this double occurence of 31 days, without any artifical intervention. Why our knuckles should so precisely indicate the months of the year was known only to the great sages of the past.

That the months alternate in number in this way is not evident at all from the verse, which has all the months mixed up for the spurious reason of rhyme. For that reason, people who work out the "days of the month" by the verse are largely unaware that the months alternate sequentially between 31 and 30 (with some minor exceptions). I would make it mandatory that the knuckle method be taught at early primary school, and that anyone who did not do so be liable to a different kind of knuckle mnemomic. Myles325a (talk) 02:57, 17 February 2011 (UTC)

Done. — LlywelynII

Grammatical error[edit]

I too was taught this rhyme at an early age. More recently I have pondered about the grammatical error in the first line. I note with interest that this error has survived since the fifteenth century. Shouls this be mentioned in the article? Spathaky (talk) 08:48, 30 September 2011 (UTC)

What error? The subject "September" is singular, so the verb form "hath" is correct. (talk) 22:07, 12 November 2016 (UTC)
The subject isn't "September". Keep reading... — LlywelynII 04:56, 28 February 2017 (UTC)

Why the smiley face?[edit]

In the pic for the knuckle method, March is given as a smiley face rather than X number of days. Wtf? (talk) 22:26, 2 February 2015 (UTC)

Happy Birthday!
But more seriously the entire knuckle section doesn't belong here. Fixed. — LlywelynII 04:56, 28 February 2017 (UTC)

Big little method not mentioned[edit]

一月大 七月大
二月平 八月大
三月大 九月小
四月小 十月大
五月大 十一月小
六月小 十二月大

where 大 is big and 小 is little/small. One only need to remember that the only consequent 大月 months are 7-8 (and 12-1 if asking properly) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Bbbush (talkcontribs) 19:51, 26 October 2015 (UTC)

It's interesting to have Chinese but, well, that's not any kind of verse. It's just a bunch of words that list out exactly what the months are. It's the same as a list reading "January 31, February 28, March 31..." which isn't within the SCOPE of this article except to provide contrast. Given the Chinese desire to avoid mafannery, however, I assume there are terser forms that would be equivalent. Something like "4, 6, 9, 11 small; 2 very small; rest 31".
Honestly, every Chinese I've talked to about this just use the knuckle mnemonic. — LlywelynII 05:07, 28 February 2017 (UTC)


This isn't Wikisource. We don't provide contextless, unsourced, nonnotable laundry lists of all the variants here. Kindly provide actual sources and context for these or move them to a Wikisource entry on the poem:

[ absurd amount of variants commented out below: ]

Note that RELIABLE SOURCING doesn't include random websites and their laundry lists don't provide actual context. — LlywelynII 05:07, 28 February 2017 (UTC)

This entry has a 1577 version attributed to "Harrison" but don't know if its timing or style is different enough to warrant inclusion. It also claims that this

En avril, en juing, en septembre
A .x. jours et en novembre:
Tout li autre ont .xj. jour,
Fors fevriers qi est li plus cour,
En soi que .xxviij. jors n'a,
Ne plus ne meins n'i avra ja
Fors en l'an qe bissextres vient,
Adont en a, einsi avient, .xxix., de tant est creus,
L'an que bixestres est cheus.

is a French version from the 13th century. That would certainly be notable as earlier than the English example we have but it's just a blog reply, doesn't include any citations, and doesn't have any translation. — LlywelynII 07:29, 28 February 2017 (UTC)

Spanish versions of the rhyme have one line missing[edit]

I know two Spanish versions of the rhyme, both with the reference to leap years omitted. One goes:"

Treinta días tiene septiembre, con abril, julio y noviembre. De veintiocho solo hay uno, y los demás, treinta y uno.

" and the other is similar, but replaces "tiene" with "trae", like this:"

Treinta días trae septiembre, con abril, julio y noviembre. De veintiocho solo hay uno, y los demás, treinta y uno.

" See? Both versions are missing the fact February has 29 days in a leap year. --Fandelasketchup (talk) 20:52, 29 August 2018 (UTC)