blue moon

blue moon
blue moon 1821 as a specific term in the sense "very rarely," perhaps suggesting something that, in fact, never happens (Cf. at the Greek calends); suggested earliest in this couplet from 1528:
Yf they say the mone is blewe,
We must beleve that it is true.
Though this might refer to calendrical calculations by the Church, so that the general sense of the term and the specific one (commonly misinterpreted as "second full moon in a calendar month," but actually a quarterly calculation) are difficult to disentangle. In either case, the sense of blue is obscure. Literal blue moons do sometimes occur under extreme atmospheric conditions.

Etymology dictionary. 2014.

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  • blue moon — lue moon The second full moon occurring in the same month; derived from the expression {once in a blue moon}; as, we had a blue moon on January 31, 1999, and another in March. [PJC] {once in a blue moon} very rarely; from the observation that… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Blue Moon — (рус. Голубая Луна)  английское название астрономического явления голубой луны, имеющее, кроме того, следующие значения: Содержание 1 В музыке 2 На экране 3 В литератур …   Википедия

  • blue moon — Moon Moon (m[=oo]n), n. [OE. mone, AS. m[=o]na; akin to D. maan, OS. & OHG. m[=a]no, G. mond, Icel. m[=a]ni, Dan. maane, Sw. m[*a]ne, Goth. m[=e]na, Lith. men[*u], L. mensis month, Gr. mh nh moon, mh n month, Skr. m[=a]s moon, month; prob. from a …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • blue moon — n. [< a rare atmospheric condition in which layers of smoke, dust, etc., as from forest fires, volcanoes, etc., cause the surface of the moon to appear to be blue] a very long time once in a blue moon very seldom; almost never …   English World dictionary

  • Blue moon — This article is about the astronomical phenomenon. For other uses, see Blue Moon (disambiguation). 31 December 2009 Blue Moon with partial lunar eclipse A blue moon can refer to the third full moon in a season with four full moons …   Wikipedia

  • Blue Moon — Cette page d’homonymie répertorie les différents sujets et articles partageant un même nom. Sommaire 1 Cinéma et télévision 2 Musique 3 …   Wikipédia en Français

  • blue moon — /blu ˈmun/ (say blooh moohn) noun 1. the second full moon in a calendar month, such second full moons occurring slightly less than once a year. –phrase 2. once in a blue moon, seldom; very rarely. {? from the US Maine Farmers Almanac (1932) which …  

  • blue moon — noun a long time something that happens once in blue moon almost never happens • Usage Domain: ↑colloquialism • Hypernyms: ↑long time, ↑age, ↑years * * * noun once in a blue moon …   Useful english dictionary

  • blue moon — noun Date: 1821 1. a very long period of time usually used in the phrase once in a blue moon < such people happen along only once in a blue moon Saturday Review > 2. a second full moon in a calendar month …   New Collegiate Dictionary

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