Se’nnight

Se’nnight, a word from Middle English that means a week, seven nights. It was derived from Old English, seafon nihta, and has relatives in many languages including Italian(settimana), French(semaine) and Catalan(setimana).
I first met it in a Rex Stout short story, used, not by the erudite Nero Wolfe, Stout’s polymath main character, but by a low level hood. “Where did you pick that up?” he is asked.
“Oh some wag started it around last summer.”
The Oxford English revised says it is archaic, Middle English(1150-1500), but there are references to its use later than that period.
Dr. Donald Straughan, in directing the transcribers of the Bath Chronicle(1760-1800) for the Georgian Newspaper Project, instructs them that the word is se’nnight, sometimes fe’nnight, and means a week, not a fortnight.
Se’nnight is included in the Emily Dickinson Lexicon for her 19th Century poems, and Virginia Woolf used it in 1928’s Orlando. The Rex Stout short story I mentioned is called Easter Parade and was published in 1957.
Perhaps the old words aren’t dead, just waiting to be rediscovered.
I’ll write again, Sunday se’nnight.

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