Year - Etymology

Etymology

Further information: Jēran

West Saxon gear (jɛar), Anglian gēr continues Proto-Germanic *jǣram (*jē2ram). Cognates are German Jahr, Old High German jar, Old Norse ár and Gothic jer, all from a PIE *yērom "year, season". Cognates outside of Germanic are Avestan yare "year", Greek ὥρα "year, season, period of time" (whence "hour"), Old Church Slavonic jaru and Latin hornus "of this year".

Latin Annus (a 2nd declension masculine noun; annum is the accusative singular; anni is genitive singular and nominative plural; anno the dative and ablative singular) is from a PIE noun *at-no-, which also yielded Gothic aþnam "year".

Both *yē-ro- and *at-no- are based on verbal roots expressing movement, *at- and *ey- respectively, both meaning "to go" generally.

The Greek word for "year", ἔτος, is cognate with Latin vetus "old", from PIE *wetus- "year", also preserved in this meaning in Sanskrit vat-sa- "yearling (calf)" and vat-sa-ras "year".

Derived from Latin annus are a number of English words, such as annual, annuity, anniversary, etc.; per annum means "each year".

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