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Matthew Heilig • #teamUSA - Team Kate's in Gastonia, NC (Nekoe Buckner)

Jumping and leaping this spring 2024...

Sure, leap years are special, but do you know why we refer to 2024 as a leap year?

In a common year, if your birthday were to occur on a Monday, for example, the following year it should occur on a Tuesday.

However, some years are leap years—meaning, we must add an extra day (such as today!) during a leap year, making your your birthday leap over one day. Instead of your birthday occurring on a Tuesday as it would following a common year, during a leap year, your birthday “leaps” over Tuesday and will now occur on a Wednesday.

Are anglophones (English speakers) the only language group that refer to this as a leap year?

Unsurprisingly, language descendants of Latin (romance languages) such as French, Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese, reference the Latin phrase for (approximately) “Second sixth day before the First of March,” since Leap Day was originally between February 23 and 24.

FR: une année bissextile (f.)

EN: a leap year

ES: un año bisiesto (m.)

DE: ein Schaltjahr (n.)

ES: un año bisiesto (m.)

PT: um ano bissexto (m.)

What's leap year in your language?


Brian Clary
Brian Clary

Très bien <3

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