The ninth month of our calendar is named September. The Farmer's Almanac, dictionary and computer all agree, September comes from the Latin word for seven, "septem," since it was the seventh month of the Roman year.

The Roman calendar named after Romulus originally was determined by the cycles of the sun and moon. The seasons were those of the agriculture year and the year was 10 months long -- 304 days -- beginning in the spring in March and ending in December. The seventh month of this Roman calendar was September. Many years later, the calendar changed to 12 months and 365 days. September, now the ninth month, kept its name.

"Thirty days hath September" is beginning of the traditional mnemonic verse (mnemonic: a pattern of letters or words used as an aid to memory). We learned this verse in grade school:

"Thirty days hath September, April, June and November, all the rest have 31 except February, three years it has 28 days and the fourth year 29."

What does September bring to mind? Summer has flown by, school is here, state fair and home garden harvest.

Charlemagne named the month agriculturally in old German in the 15th century. He named the ninth month Witumanoth ("wood month").

Watch for October's origin next month.

Jim and Opal Flinn, Ellis, are members of the Generations Advisory Group.