moon


moon
{{11}}moon (n.) O.E. mona, from P.Gmc. *menon- (Cf. O.S., O.H.G. mano, O.Fris. mona, O.N. mani, Dan. maane, Du. maan, Ger. Mond, Goth. mena "moon"), from PIE *me(n)ses- "moon, month" (Cf. Skt. masah "moon, month;" Avestan ma, Pers. mah, Armenian mis "month;" Gk. mene "moon," men "month;" L. mensis "month;" O.C.S. meseci, Lith. menesis "moon, month;" O.Ir. mi, Welsh mis, Bret. miz "month"), probably from root *me- "to measure," in reference to the moon's phases as the measure of time. A masculine noun in Old English. In Greek, Italic, Celtic, Armenian the cognate words now mean only "month." Gk. selene (Lesbian selanna) is from selas "light, brightness (of heavenly bodies)."
Extended 1665 to satellites of other planets. To shoot the moon "leave without paying rent" is British slang from c.1823; card-playing sense perhaps influenced by gambler's shoot the works (1922) "go for broke" in shooting dice. The moon race and the U.S. space program of the 1960s inspired a number of coinages, including, from those skeptical of the benefits to be gained, moondoggle (Cf. BOONDOGGLE (Cf. boondoggle)). The man in the moon is mentioned since early 14c.; he carries a bundle of thorn-twigs and is accompanied by a dog. Some Japanese, however, see a rice-cake-making rabbit in the moon.
{{12}}moon (v.) c.1600, "to expose to moonlight;" later "idle about" (1836), "move listlessly" (1848), probably on notion of being MOONSTRUCK (Cf. moonstruck). The meaning "to flash the buttocks" is first recorded 1968, U.S. student slang, from moon (n.) "buttocks" (1756), "probably from the idea of pale circularity" [Ayto]. See MOON (Cf. moon) (n.). Related: Mooned; mooning.

Etymology dictionary. 2014.

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  • moon — [mo͞on] n. [ME mone < OE mona, akin to Goth mēna < IE * mēn , month, moon (> L mensis, Gr mēn, month, mēne, moon) < base mē , to MEASURE] 1. [often M ] the celestial body that revolves around the earth from west to east in c. 271/ 3… …   English World dictionary


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