seventh month, c. 1050, Iulius, from Anglo-French julie, Old French Juil, Jule (Modern French uses a diminutive, Juillet) and directly from Latin Iulius "fifth month of the Roman calendar" (which began its year in March), renamed after his death and deification in honor of Gaius Julius Caesar, who was born in this month. In republican Rome it had been Quintilis, literally "fifth." Compare August. Accented on the first syllable in English until 18c.; "the modern Eng. pronunciation is abnormal and unexplained" [OED]. Replaced Old English liða se æfterra "later mildness," from liðe "mild."
fifth month of the modern calendar, early 12c., Mai, from Old French mai and directly from Latin Majus, Maius mensis "month of May," possibly from Maja, Maia, a Roman earth goddess (wife of Vulcan) whose name is of unknown origin; possibly from PIE *mag-ya "she who is great," fem. suffixed form of root *meg- "great" (cognate with Latin magnus).
"[R]eckoned on the continent of Europe and in America as the last month of spring, but in Great Britain as the first of summer" [Century Dictionary, 1897]. Replaced Old English þrimilce, month in which cows can be milked three times a day. May marriages have been considered unlucky at least since Ovid's day. May-apple, perennial herb native to North America, so called for its time of blooming and its yellowish fruit, is attested from 1733, American English.
"heavenly body which revolves about the earth monthly," Middle English mone, from Old English mona, from Proto-Germanic *menon- (source also of Old Saxon and Old High German mano, Old Frisian mona, Old Norse mani, Danish maane, Dutch maan, German Mond, Gothic mena "moon"), from PIE *me(n)ses- "moon, month" (source also of Sanskrit masah "moon, month;" Avestan ma, Persian mah, Armenian mis "month;" Greek mene "moon," men "month;" Latin mensis "month;" Old Church Slavonic meseci, Lithuanian mėnesis "moon, month;" Old Irish mi, Welsh mis, Breton miz "month"), from root *me- (2) "to measure" in reference to the moon's phases as an ancient and universal measure of time.
A masculine noun in Old English. In Greek, Italic, Celtic, and Armenian the cognate words now mean only "month." Greek selēnē (Lesbian selanna) is from selas "light, brightness (of heavenly bodies)." Old Norse also had tungl "moon," ("replacing mani in prose" - Buck), evidently an older Germanic word for "heavenly body," cognate with Gothic tuggl, Old English tungol "heavenly body, constellation," of unknown origin or connection. Hence Old Norse tunglfylling "lunation," tunglœrr "lunatic" (adj.).
Extended 1665 to satellites of other planets. Typical of a place impossible to reach or a thing impossible to obtain, by 1590s. Meaning "a month, the period of the revolution of the moon about the earth" is from late 14c.
To shoot the moon "leave without paying rent" is British slang from c. 1823 (see shoot (v.)); the card-playing sense perhaps was influenced by gambler's shoot the works (1922) "go for broke" in shooting dice. The moon race and the U.S. space program of the 1960s inspired a number of coinages, including, from those skeptical of the benefits to be gained, moondoggle (based on boondoggle). The man in the moon "fancied semblance of a man seen in the disk of the full moon" is mentioned since early 14c.; he carries a bundle of thorn-twigs and is accompanied by a dog. Some Japanese, however, see a rice-cake-making rabbit in the moon. The old moon in the new moon's arms (1727) is the appearance of the moon in the first quarter, in which the whole orb is faintly visible by earthshine.
"the final cessation of the monthly courses of women," 1852 (from 1845 as a French word in English), from French ménopause, from medical Latin menopausis, from Greek mēn (genitive mēnos) "month" (from PIE *mehnes- "moon, month," from root *me- (2) "to measure," via the notion of the moon as the measurer of time) + pausis "a cessation, a pause," from pauein "to cause to cease," a word of uncertain etymology with no certain cognates outside Greek [Beekes]. Earlier it was change of life (1834).
1620s, "in the month of the same name," Tuscan dialectal ditto "(in) the said (month or year)," literary Italian detto, past participle of dire "to say," from Latin dicere "speak, tell, say" (from PIE root *deik- "to show," also "pronounce solemnly").
Italian used the word to avoid repetition of month names in a series of dates, and in this sense it was picked up in English. Its generalized meaning of "the aforesaid, the same thing, same as above" is attested in English by 1670s. In early 19c. a suit of men's clothes of the same color and material through was ditto or dittoes (1755). Dittohead, self-description of followers of U.S. radio personality Rush Limbaugh, attested by 1995. dittoship is from 1869.
"twelfth and last (by modern reckoning) month of the calendar, the month of the winter solstice," late Old English, from Old French decembre, from Latin December, from decem "ten" (from PIE root *dekm- "ten"); tenth month of the old Roman calendar, which began with March.
The -ber in four Latin month names is probably from -bris, an adjectival suffix. Tucker thinks that the first five months were named for their positions in the agricultural cycle, and "after the gathering in of the crops, the months were merely numbered."
If the word contains an element related to mensis, we must assume a *decemo-membris (from *-mensris). October must then be by analogy from a false division Sep-tem-ber &c. Perhaps, however, from *de-cem(o)-mr-is, i.e. "forming the tenth part or division," from *mer- ..., while October = *octuo-mr-is. [T.G. Tucker, "Etymological Dictionary of Latin"]
Decembrist, in Russian history in reference to the insurrection against Nicholas I in December 1825, is by 1868 in English, translating Russian dekabrist, from dekabr' "December."
"last but one," 1530s, abbreviation of penultima. As a noun from 1570s as "last day but one of a month;" grammatical sense of "last syllable but one of a word" is by 1828.