Equinox – what is it? Using Etymology to figure out what words really mean

Equinox is the day of the year when the number of day hours is equal to the number of night hours.



If you can’t remember that, there’s an easy trick you can use to help you remember what most any word means.


Etymology is the study of word origins and is a great help in learning languages of all kinds, and for figuring out what words really mean.

For example – the word equinox is made up of two parts: equi- and nox.


Equi- means equal and comes from the same word origin.


Nox means night.


So literally equinox means equal night – or in other words, the night is equal to the day.


The sun sets today in Nashville, Tennessee where I am at 6:57 pm.


Yesterday it set at 6:56 pm and according to The Old Farmer’s Almanac, it will set at 6:58 pm tomorrow.


Check out the rising and setting sun times where you are – Amazon Affiliate link to The Old Farmer's Almanac. #CommissionEarned




In the spirit of etymology - it’s fun to make your own thoughts about language and its possible meaning.


For example, in contemplating the word “human” – despite it’s accepted origins,, for me, it means also the following:


Hu – humus – of the earth, the earth, earthen, soil, made of matter


Man – manus – one who thinks, one who uses the mind


Manos – the hands


Therefore, it can be inferred that a human is one fashioned of the earth that uses the mind and hands.


Can it be that simple?






Maybe this is why piano lessons are so good for early childhood development (and all human development for that matter).


Piano lessons are good because they promote hand and mind coordination with an emphasis on speed, accuracy, and repetition serving to fine tune the motor skills.


Taking piano lessons as a young child is even proven to facilitate synaptic fusion in the brain. See Science Daily for more info about this.


It’s not simply the playing of piano that accomplishes this feat, but the simultaneous reading of sheet music, coordinated with the hand reaction and the stimulus of the tonal vibration whose frequency matches the intended note on the page.


The note “A” is always the same on the page, is always the same frequency, A-440, and is always located at the same key on the piano.


The child quickly coordinates these functions, and is encouraged by the self initiated triggering of a certain note on the keyboard, comprehended from reading the sheet music, and the satisfaction of the rewarding correct note sounding out from the piano into the room.


It has been said that music is making order of time, and perhaps a similar idea can be used to compare etymology and language.



It has been said that music is making order of time, and perhaps a similar idea can be used to compare etymology and language.

By studying word origins in many languages, etymology, one can make order of language as a means of not only communicating among human beings, but also, allowing the underlying, vibrational power of the language to percolate through the strata of time into our present day, hungry minds.


Challenge – use your etymology dictionary and research the underlying meaning of the word “etymology.” Feel free to post your comments here for discussion.





Don’t have an etymology dictionary? You can try using a regular dictionary, or order an etymology dictionary online here via my Amazon Affiliates page:




Ready to start some piano lessons? Connect with a teacher in your local neighborhood, or get started from the very beginning with the Bastian method books here:





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