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Unique Christmas Words “Yule” Can Use

Christmas Tree
Oli Scarff, Getty Images

‘Tis the season for “yule” to use some words that we never use any other time of the year  (I promise to stop using “yule” for “you”).

Much like when a storm is approaching and people will “batten down the hatches” or “hunker down,” Christmas comes with a handful of unique words that only get used this time of year.

Yule – Yule or yuletide is a winter festival that was first celebrated by Germans as a pagan religious festival that was later absorbed into the Christian festival of Christmas.

‘Twas – You’ll never hear someone in the summer say, “Twas the day before yesterday when I was at the beach.” Twas is simply a contraction of “it was.”

Nog – The word “nog” dates back to the 1600s; defines it as, “drink make from eggs beaten with milk, cream, and sugar, often spiked with rum or other alcoholic liquor, and sometimes seasoned with cinnamon; usually spelled eggnog.” You can’t have a nog without eggs.

Droll – From Twas The Night Before Christmas: “His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow / And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow” — droll is a curious way that provokes dry amusement.

Noel – Noel simply is an alternate word for Christmas. Noel can be traced back to the Old French and Modern French languages.

Tidings – not too many people will extend good tidings to you on the 4th of July, but it’s a common word this time of year — tidings is simply news and information. Bidding someone “good tidings” wishes them good and positive news and thoughts.

And then there’s the “poinsettia” versus “poinsetta” versus “pointsettia” debate, which has been going on longer than people have been making jokes about fruit cake, but since there’s no right or wrong answer to the proper pronunciation of pointsettia (even if there is),  it’s not worth arguing over because you probably still have shopping to do!

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