Old English suðerne, from suð "south" (see south) + -erne, suffix denoting direction. A common Germanic compound (Old Frisian suthern, Old Norse suðroenn, Old High German sundroni). The constellation Southern Cross so called in English by 1756.
Entries linking to southern
As an adjective from c. 1300; as a noun, "one of the four cardinal points," also "southern region of a country," both late 13c. The Southern states of the U.S. have been collectively called The South since 1779 (in early use this often referred only to Georgia and South Carolina). South country in Britain means the part below the Tweed, in England the part below the Wash, and in Scotland the part below the Forth. South Sea meant "the Mediterranean" (late 14c.) and "the English Channel" (early 15c.) before it came to mean (in plural) "the South Pacific Ocean" (1520s). The nautical coat called a sou'wester (1836) protects the wearer against severe weather, such as a gale out of the southwest.
*sāwel-, Proto-Indo-European root meaning "the sun." According to Watkins, the *-el- in it originally was a suffix, and there was an alternative form *s(u)wen-, with suffix *-en-, hence the two forms represented by Latin sol, English sun.
It forms all or part of: anthelion; aphelion; girasole; heliacal; helio-; heliotrope; helium; insolate; insolation; parasol; parhelion; perihelion; Sol; solar; solarium; solstice; south; southern; sun; Sunday.
It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Sanskrit suryah, Avestan hvar "sun, light, heavens;" Greek hēlios; Latin sol "the sun, sunlight;" Lithuanian saulė, Old Church Slavonic slunice; Gothic sauil, Old English sol "sun;" Old English swegl "sky, heavens, the sun;" Welsh haul, Old Cornish heuul, Breton heol "sun;" Old Irish suil "eye;" Avestan xueng "sun;" Old Irish fur-sunnud "lighting up;" Old English sunne German Sonne, Gothic sunno "the sun."
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a southern exposure
the southern hemisphere