The word Ramadan was borrowed into the English language as the British started having increased contact with Muslims through trade. Today, it refers to the ninth month of the Muslim calendar. This shifts along our Gregorian calendar over time, such that it passes through all the months in 33 years. However, when the word was first coined in Arabic, it appears to definitely have been during the summer, because the name literally translates to "the hot month". That's from ramida, meaning "burnt" or "scorched". Prior to that, it can be traced to irtamada, which meant "to be consumed by grief and sorrow." I'm sure after a month of fasting, I'd be consumed by grief and sorrow too! Usage of the word Ramadan in literature over time has been steadily increasing with increased Islamic exposure in Occidental society.
Hello! I'm Adam Aleksic, a junior studying government and linguistics at Harvard University, where I co-founded the Harvard Undergraduate Linguistics Society. In addition to etymology, I also really enjoy trivia, politics, vexillology, geography, board games, conlanging, art history, and law.