AUGUST :: meanings, famous birthdays and all that jazz...


I think everybody is aware that this fresh new month of August

was named after Caesar Augustus, the first Emperor of the Roman Empire,

but did you also know that August used to be called Sextilis in the Roman Calendar?


Sextilis meant "6th" in Latin,

and that was where the month sat in the Roman Calendar.

It was shuffled along to 8th position around 700 BC.


The word "August", when used as an adjective, is defined as

"consecrated, venerable, respected & impressive". 


Which makes me ponder, just imagine if we used the names

of the other months as adjectives,

as in " She was very july." Or "The judge displayed much december in his summary."

Perhaps we are missing out on opportunities here?


While August is traditionally viewed as the last month of summer 

in the northern hemisphere

(although not in Ireland, where August 1 marks the last day of summer),

in the southern hemisphere we get a bit enthusiastic

because it's our last month of winter.

(Well, technically, that is, as the weather gods

never decide to play along with that game, it seems. 

I think they have a sense of humour which is more prevalent

than a sense of neat order, but I digress…)


If you want to know a little more about the birth flower for August,

you can see an earlier post about the poppy here,

or if you were born in August and want to drop some hints 

about lovely birthday presents, 

you can see an earlier post about August's birthstones

the sardonyx here or the peridot here.


And meanwhile, I'm thinking that because today is the 1st of August,

and because it also happens to be a Friday,

then perhaps raising a celebratory toast of Champagne

to the brilliance of Louis Armstrong's music,

while listening to jazz in a little cocktail bar tonight,

may be just the ticket to celebrate the new month.

What do you think?



the august fellow in the middle of the illustration dates from the early 19th century, & is thought to be a replica of a 1st century bc bust which sits in the vatican museum. i found him here