Monday 31 December 2012

French Hogmanay

Hogmanay, the Scots New Year, is one of those words that sounds irretrievably non-Latinate, unless you remove the hogm, in which case it sounds exactly like the French word année, or year.

Hogmanay is a mysterious word and nobody really knows where the hog bit comes from. But it somehow seems to have been added to the Medieval French aguillanneuf, which breaks down in to aguill (mysterious), an (year), and neuf (new).

Also, hogmanay - or at least hagnonayse - is recorded in England long before it was recorded in Scotland (1443 v. 1604). The original meaning of the word was as a demand for a new year's gift, rather like trick or treat at Halloween.

Happy new year, sundry and all.

Start where you mean to end up.


  1. Hae a great Hogmanay the noo

  2. Could the hog bit come from the Scandinavian hög, meaning high.
    ?? high morning.

  3. Wow, what a nice post. You are right that Hogmanay is a mysterious word and i didn't know where the hog bit comes from . I really enjoyed while i am reading this nice post.