What is the origin of the term fortnight and were did it come from?


The fortnight is a unit of time equal to fourteen days. The word derives from the Old English feorwertyne niht, meaning "fourteen nights".

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Units of time

Units of measurement for time have historically been based on the movement of the Sun (as seen from Earth). Shorter intervals were measured by physiological periods such as drawing breath, winking or the pulse.

Units of time consisting of a number of years include the lustrum (five years) and the olympiad (four years). The month could be divided into half-months or fortnights, and quarters or weeks. Longer periods were given in lifetimes or generations (saecula, aion), subdivisions of the solar day in hours. The Sothic cycle was a period of 1,461 years of 365 days in the Ancient Egyptian calendar. Medieval (Pauranic) Hindu cosmology is notorious for introducing names for fabulously long time periods, such as kalpa (4.32 billion years).


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