Moon phases in other words

sknox

Member and remember
Joined
Mar 25, 2013
Messages
1,767
Location
Idaho
I'm looking for variations on terms for moon phases. For example, I have found where in English we usually say new moon there can also be "old moon" or "dark moon". I can then let my elves use one of those phrases, orcs another.

So I'm looking for similar variations for full moon, and maybe for waxing and waning. I don't think there's a need for any more precision, except maybe also for crescent moon. I think that one can also be sickle moon. Note that I'm not looking for terms like hunter moon or harvest moon. Those are easy to find. I'm just looking at phases. You could say (though I hope you don't) that I'm going through a phase.

The variations can come from other languages, of course!

FWIW, some searching on the Net yields mostly translations, but I did come across this
New Moon Names

Also, for context, here is the line from my WIP that instigated this question.
"Back home, they call it a new moon, Val thought, and the elves call it the old moon. But Val liked the ogre term best. The dark moon."
 

Elckerlyc

"Philosophy will clip an angel's wings."
Joined
Aug 27, 2019
Messages
1,607
Location
The Netherlands
I found this on the Web:
moons-in-old-english-native-american-buddhist-other.jpg


Name phases from a Dutch site:
1 - New Moon
2 - Young Moon
3 - First Quarter
4 - Waxing Moon
5 - Full Moon
6 - Waning Moon
7 - Last Quarter
8 - Ashen Moon
9 - New Moon
 

HareBrain

Smeerp of Wonder
Staff member
Supporter
Joined
Oct 13, 2008
Messages
12,667
Location
West Sussex, UK
The waxing moon is getting farther from the sun, the full moon is at its farthest point from the sun, the waning moon is getting closer to the sun. You could invent a myth to account for that, and then name the phases after the stages in the relationship between the two. (Maybe they have a cycle where the moon flees the sun seeking independence and becomes fully its own person, but then finds it too cold away from the sun and returns.)
 

THX1138

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 11, 2022
Messages
568
Location
Land Locked Ocean Dream
Here are some Native American ones;

In Lakota:

haŋwí = moon

witʼé = new moon

wíokhiseya = the first quarter of the moon

wímimá = the full moon

wiyášpapi = the third quarter of the moon

In Tsalagi (Cherokee): svnoyiehinvdo

In Creek: hvresse

In Koasati: nithahasi

In Navaho: tleehonaaei
 

Wayne Mack

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 12, 2020
Messages
1,234
Location
Chantilly, Virginia, US
Why not create your own phases? This would provide a wonderful way to reinforce some key characteristic of the elves versus the orcs. Some ideas:

Archer's Moon / Archer's Dismay
Hunter's Delight / Prey's Night
Worker's Moon / Idler's Moon
Lover's Moon / Sleeper's Moon

Perhaps there might be a focus on the phases between instead of new and full.
Birthing Moon / Dying Moon
Lightening Moon / Darkening Moon
Incoming Moon / Outgoing Moon
Earning Moon / Spending Moon
 

Pyan

Nihil sub sōle novum
Staff member
Supporter
Joined
Jul 29, 2005
Messages
10,952
Location
Sarf’ampton
I found this on the Web:
View attachment 88935

Name phases from a Dutch site:
1 - New Moon
2 - Young Moon
3 - First Quarter
4 - Waxing Moon
5 - Full Moon
6 - Waning Moon
7 - Last Quarter
8 - Ashen Moon
9 - New Moon
The Native American names differed completely, depending on the tribe or confederation. Here's the Lakota list: The Lakota Moon Calendar
It includes some really poetical descriptions:
Wetú — The Moons of Renewal and Growth (Spring)
Magáksicaagli Wí — Moon When Ducks Come Back
Wíhákata Cépapi Wi — Moon of Making Fat
Wójupi Wi — Moon When the Leaves are Green

Blokétu — The Warm Moons (Summer)
Wípazuka Wasté Win — Moon of the June Berries
Canpásapa Wi — Moon When the Chokecherries Are Ripe
Wasúton Wi — Moon of the Harvest

Ptanyétu — The Moons of Change (Autumn)
Canwápegi Wi — Moon When the Leaves Turn Brown
Canwapekasna Wi — Moon When the Wind Shakes off Leaves
Waníyetu Wi — Moon of the Rutting Deer

Waniyetu — The Cold and Dark Moons (Winter)
Wanícokan Wi — Moon When the Deer Sheds Their Horns
Wiótehika Wi — The Hard Moon
Cannápopa Wi — Moon When Trees Crack From The Cold
Istáwicayazan Wi — Moon of Sore Eyes (Snow Blindness)

And it has thirteen moons, to match the actual number in a year, not compressed into our awkward and irrational twelve months.
 

Orcadian

Lover of hard science fiction
Joined
Apr 3, 2022
Messages
147
Location
NW Europe
@Pyan, I read your Lakota words with interest. Have you read Hanto Yo? I encountered it around 1990, while living in the USA and it absolutely blew me away.
 

THX1138

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 11, 2022
Messages
568
Location
Land Locked Ocean Dream
@Pyan, I read your Lakota words with interest. Have you read Hanto Yo? I encountered it around 1990, while living in the USA and it absolutely blew me away.
I have some aquatints that live on the Pine Ridge Rez. I heard of the word Wasichu in the old west movies many times, but to have a few Lakotas on the rez call me a Wasichu to my face was more of a "Wow! It is a real word with a real meaning!" I took it as a compliment! Well, to make a long story short, the rest is best left for another post.
 

THX1138

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 11, 2022
Messages
568
Location
Land Locked Ocean Dream

I volunteered at our local Natural History Museum Planetarium of 15 years and am amateur astronomer.

For me it is a 'Silent Sentinel of History' A history that we are not aware of. (Astronomical, Geological, Historical)


150 Words To Describe The Moon List of adjectives, synonyms, and related terms to describe the moon.

Ablaze
Abstract
Aesthetic
Ageless
Alien
Alkaline
Amazing
American
Angelic
Asteroid
Astrophysical
Barometric
Barren
Battered
Beautiful
Blue
Bright
Brilliant
Broad
Calm
Celestial
Clean
Clear
Cold
Comforting
Conflate
Controlling
Cool
Crescent
Deadly
Deceptive
Devoid
Dim
Distant
Early
Eloquent
Enchanting
Enough
Enthralling
Ethereal
Evanescent
Expansive
Faint
Fairy-Tail
Fine
Fitful
Floating
Flying
Freedom
Frosty
Full
Future
Gateway
Gentle
Ghostly
Glisten
Gloomy
Glorious
Glowing
Godly
Golden
Gravitational
Guardian
Hallowed
Hard
Harvest
Hidden
Holy
Howling
Iconic
Incomprehensible
Infinite
Insightful
Legendary
Lifeless
Light
Little
Lonely
Looming
Lovely
Luminous
Magical
Marked
Mellow
Midnight
Milky
Misty
Mysterious
Oceanic
Old
Ominous
Opaque
Otherworldly
Pale
Paradise
Pasty
Peaceful
Pearlescent
Penumbra
Placid
Pleasant
Pulling
Pure
Quiet
Radiant
Rocky
Scary
Serene
Shimmer
Silent
Silhouette
Silver
Silvery
Slow
Soft
Soviet
Spinning
Splendid
Still
Storied
Strong
Sweet
Terrifying
Thin
Tidal
Time-Worn
Tranquil
Twinkling
Uncertain
Unearthly
Unpolluted
Untouchable
Victory
Walked
Wan
Warm
Watcher
Watery
Weird
White
Wild
Wispy
Yellow
 

Pyan

Nihil sub sōle novum
Staff member
Supporter
Joined
Jul 29, 2005
Messages
10,952
Location
Sarf’ampton
Waxing, waning, gibbous...

I'd be interested to see where Soviet and American come from, unless they've trawled pulp SF references.

As Gandalf says, in one of the many Moon references in The Lord of the Rings
'In here it is ever dark; but outside the late Moon is riding westward and the middle-night has passed.’
LotR, BkII, Ch4 “A Journey in the Dark“ J.R.R. Tolkien
 

sknox

Member and remember
Joined
Mar 25, 2013
Messages
1,767
Location
Idaho
Thanks for the responses. There seems to be some confusion about phases; see the OP.

Late moon is a good one. So is ashen. I'll keep looking.
 

sknox

Member and remember
Joined
Mar 25, 2013
Messages
1,767
Location
Idaho
The ape only partially hidden behind the tree. Is that ... could it be a ... gibbous ape?
 

magpie Asylum

Active Member
Joined
Apr 23, 2022
Messages
44
So is this our moon with the normal phases? Who is using the term? Does the moon have a mythical or mystical value to the people who are talking about it?
Just off the top of my head the moon, Luna is seen as a mother figure by many cultures. The phases could be presented as life cycle phases like child, maiden, wife, mother, crone. Could be presented like terms of fertility or pregnancy. Just ideas.
 

THX1138

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 11, 2022
Messages
568
Location
Land Locked Ocean Dream
In Latin
  • New Moon: Novilunium (Soli coniuncta),
  • Crescent: Cornicularis (in aspectu sextili),
  • Quarter: Dimidiata (in aspectu quadrato),
  • Gibbous: In orbem insinuata (in aspectu trino vel trigono) and
  • Full: Plenilunium (Soli opposita)
 

jd73

"Everything's just clouds and flowers!"
Joined
Oct 22, 2020
Messages
129
I chose a bunch of random words for my moon phases: Low moon, target moon, turning moon, wolves' moon, bay moon, love moon. Just go all out. Alternatively you could use the phases to do a little history-making and worldbuilding.
 

sknox

Member and remember
Joined
Mar 25, 2013
Messages
1,767
Location
Idaho
I appreciate all the feedback. I confess I was hoping to hear from those who spoke other languages, in case there was something colorful I could steal ... er, use.
 

Similar threads


Top