fimmtudagur, september 21, 2006


Today is the big day, or roughly the big day*, when we in Iceland have just the same amount of daylight as all y'all reading everywhere else in the world. That's right, it's the equinox, when the Land and all the other lands, north and south, have just about exactly 12 hours between sunrise and sunset.

Here in the north we actually get a little more light than all the poor saps in the Lower 48, owing to all the extra civil twilight we get year-round. So really we get about 14 hours of light today.

Be that as it may, the autumnal equinox always makes me a little gloomy when I realize that it won't again be this light until the 21st of March, a full 6 months away. From here until the 21st of December, it's going to get darker and darker here, losing daylight at the rate of around an hour every 10 days until sometime in November when we stabilize at "pretty damn dark".

Well, well. At least there will be baseball. Oh, wait.

Now back to the word-of-the-day feature: the Icelandic word for equinox is jafndægur, which comes from the word jafn or even and the word dagur for day. Pretty straightforward. I mean, what the hell is an equinox?

*It's actually Friday or Saturday, depending on where you are in the world. I couldn't help jumping the gun when I realized it was the 21st today.


Blogger jdk said...

from Latin aequinoctium : aequi-, equi- + nox, noct-, night.]

Blogger Tim said...

We know the feeling over here. Actually, it already feels as it's been so much darker than just a week or two ago. Very odd. I woke up this morning and I can't remember when it was this dark at 6 am. I do dread the winter . . .

Blogger JB said...

JDK: Mother B taught me that at age 6 or so. But my point was that almost all Icelandic words actually themselves come from other, simpler Icelandic words, which is kinda refreshing. The transparency of the language is nice after a lifetime of learning English vocab. Just yesterday I learned that antibiotic in Icelandic is sýklalyf which literally translates as "germ-medicine".

Tim: Welcome in from the cold, my Norwegian brothah. Are you, to paraphrase Boston call-in sports shows, a "long-time readah, first-time commentah?"

Blogger Tim said...

Actually, no, I just recently came across your blog via joining Expat-blog. First time reader, first time commenter.

Rest assured - if I find a blog interesting enough to read more than a few sentences, I always comment, and I always am faithful to those that send them my way. Norwegian bro.... lol, I like that. Not many know just how true that is. ;)


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