New Word #97: Moon

Image by Cdd20 from Pixabay

When I was writing something, I couldn’t figure out which to use, moon, the moon, the Moon, or Moon. I’ve googled several times before, but to no avail. Some say it depends on context, some say nobody cares, some say they are all correct.

So the moon is very much an unsettled issue in English. And when I googled “moonlight connotation”, this is what google says, “The moon and/or moonlight in literature usually symbolizes an evil plan or evil in general. Usually when authors mention a moon in their stories, most often it has something to do with an eclipse or something that strengthens evil in the story.” Really? Moon is evil? And the “evil plan” even deserves highlight in google search?

Probably it is because the moon is often associated with witches or vampires. I think there’s a cultural differences here. In many cultures, the moon is a positive thing, probably a little sad, but still positive.

Words About Moon

waxing and waning: Waxing means growing bigger while waning means growing smaller.

crescent: the curvy shaped moon

moonlight, moonlit, moonshine

  • moonlight: It means not only the light of the moon, but also a second job and in some occasions probably a shady one.
  • moonlit: with moonlight
  • moonshine: (North America) illegal liquor

honeymoon: the vacation of a couple who just get married.

moonstone: it is a white gem. I still remember the book “The Moonstone”, which is the second book I read in English. It is quite interesting, but I had too many words I didn’t know and the fun was completely spoiled by constantly looking up a word in the dictionary.

moonless: a moonless night is a night with no moon.

moonstruck: It is an adjective to describe a lover who cannot think normally.

moonwalk: I think Michael Jackson is famous for his moonwalk, but I don’t know if he is the first one doing it.

selenophobia: If a person is afraid of moon, he or she has selenophobia.

new moon: New moon means the moon that’s hardly visible as a faint curvy line on the sky. However “old moon” is not a phrase. The moon is not supposed to get old, or even middle-aged.

moon eclipse: When I was in high school, I had a peer who’s really interested in moon eclipse. I actually accompanied her to stay up late at night to watch the full moon eclipse–just a little dark pink blob in the sky. I didn’t understand the fun of watching it. I guess one person’s interest is another person’s boredom.

Moon Phrases

over the moon: very happy

promise somebody the moon: to promise something unrealistic

ask for the moon: ask for something unrealistic

moon and cheese: It is a common saying that the moon is made of cheese and the moon look like cheese.

moon and wolf: The moon and a howling wolf is often portrayed together for some unknown reason.

once in a blue moon: It means very rare.

shoot for the moon: It means to have a goal that’s hard to reach.

Aim for the moon. If you miss, you may hit a star: This might be a quote. I don’t know whose quote is this, but it is often heard.

You can be the moon and still be jealous of the stars: This is a quote I heard, meaning one always covets something.

“Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.” Anton Chekhov

“Dover Beach” By Matthew Arnold

14 thoughts on “New Word #97: Moon

  1. Dover Beach is a favourite of mine.

    My mother used to say that you should never look at a full moon through glass. This sometimes caused a bit of a problem when we were out in the car on a moonlit night!

    There’s also the phrase about wanting “the moon on a stick” – ie wanting or expecting too much. In the dictionary I consulted it says “mainly US” but I’ve often heard it used in the UK.

    I also once read somewhere that the word for moon in many languages contains the “oo” sound because the shape of the lips when you make this sound resembles the round moon. eg “lune” (French), “kuu” (Finnish” – but I’m not convinced because there are many exceptions. The argument is that “moon” is a very basic and ancient word in most languages, so it has this kind of simple intuitive origin.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve never heard of the moon on a stick, but I guess it is expecting too much, either the moon falls onto our laps or we have to have a really long stick. You are right. the “oo” sound is so in tune with our imagination of the moon. I heard that Finnish is very unique that it is not connected with languages around it.


  2. I think part of the reason the moon could also have a negative meaning in the West is because there was this old superstition that people who look at the moon become crazy and that some people become more emotional with the moon’s phase. “Lunacy” is a word for craziness and “lunatic” means someone who is insane, both come from the Latin word for moon which is “Luna”.

    Liked by 3 people

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