day and night


day and night

<

Cf. German Weihnachten “Christmas.” In early times, the day was held to begin at sunset, so Old English monanniht “Monday night” was the night before Monday, or what we would call Sunday night.

To work nights preserves the Old English genitive of time. Night shift is attested from 1710 in the sense of “garment worn by a woman at night” (see shift (n.1)); meaning “gang of workers employed after dark” is from 1839. Night soil “excrement” (1770) is so called because it was removed (from cesspools, etc.) after dark. Night train attested from 1838. Night life “habitual nocturnal carousing” attested from 1852.

see under night and day.

In addition to the idioms beginning with night

  • night and day
  • night owl

also see:

  • black as night
  • call it a day (night)
  • dead of (night)
  • different as night and day
  • good night
  • make a day (night) of it
  • ships that pass in the night

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

48 queries 1.321