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Space for Etymology.

May (in Latin, Maius) was named after Greek goddess Maia (/ˈmeɪ.ə/; Ancient Greek: Μαῖα). In ancient Greek religion, Maia is the daughter of Atlas and Pleione, the Oceanid (sea-nymph). She is the oldest of the seven Pleiades and the mother to Hermes, begotten with Zeus. The Greek term μαῖα (maia) honors older women and is related to μήτηρ (mētēr) 'mother', also meaning "midwife".

The Roman-era goddess of fertility, Bona Dea was associated with the month and a festival in her honor was held during the month of May. Later, Ovid later believed that May was named after the maiores, Latin for "elders", and that the following month (June) was named after the iuniores, or "young people".


The English verb may (simple past: might) is a fairly versatile term. “might” originates from Proto-Indo-European *mógʰtis, *megʰ- (“to allow, be able, help”), and Germanic *maganą + *-þiz.

  1. to be strong; to have power (over).
  2. to be able; can.
  3. to be able to go.
  4. Synonyms: can, could, might
  • to have permission to, to be allowed to. Used in granting permission and in questions to make polite requests;
  • used to express a present or future possibility;
  • used in modesty, courtesy, or concession, or to soften a question or remark.

In Ireland, May is referred to as Bealtaine, derived from the Celtic belo-tanos "bright fire".

The Ukrainian word травень is associated with the grass that abundantly covers the earth in green, most likely stemming from Proto-Slavic travьnь (trava - "grass").

In addition, the Finnish word for May, toukokuu is a combination of touko (“sowing”) and‎ kuu (“month”). Correspondingly, the Chinese term 五月, from Middle Chinese 五 (go, “five, fifth”) and‎ 月 (gatsu, “month”) and in Mandarin (Pinyin): wǔyuè, is synonymously referred as 五月 (satsuki). Satsuki, is a compound of さ‎(sa, relating to the rice plant) and 月 (tsuki, “moon; month”). The Czech word květen stems from "květ”, meaning flower / blossom (reproductive structure).

May is the fifth month of the year, and Venus is the mythological and philological origin of the fifth day of the week in several languages (i.e. Latin: dies Veneris, Catalan: divendres, French: vendredi, Italian: venerdi, Rumanian: vineri, Spanish: viernes, German: Freitag, from Old German forms frīatag, frījatag and frijetag, worshipped to the goddess Frigg / Freya, whom the Germans equalled with the roman goddess Venus, which was itself an emulation of the Old Greek Ἀφροδίτης, Aphrodite.

These goddesses also have something else in common: the fact that they are often symbolically depicted as five-petalled flowers. Just like the path of Venus on the sky.

Whether Venus or mARS,

whether Veronica or Convallaria,

Don't forget to celebrate the month of May

officially and each and ever year -