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The word "anniversary" literally means a day that commemorates and/or celebrates a past event that occurred on the same day of the year as the initial event. The "ann" in "anniversary" comes from the Latin word "annum," meaning "year." As such, it kind of bugs me when people refer to the "six-month anniversary" of an event.

Is there a more appropriate word that means something like an anniversary, except for not a year?

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I don't think there is anything wrong with "six-month anniversary". You might as well complain about the phrase "long weekend" including Monday, since Monday is at the beginning and not the end of the week. – Peter Shor Sep 16 '11 at 22:17
Except that is a completely different usage of "end." A piece of string has two ends. So does the week; one end just happens to also be called the beginning. "Anniversary" very specifically means "annual commemoration." – fluffy Sep 16 '11 at 22:34
up vote 5 down vote accepted

"remembrance" or "memorial" are reasonable, though each has a connotation of honoring something or someone no longer with us.
I've heard "a celebration" of X used for more happy events.

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‘Anniversary’ itself seems to be changing its meaning so as to describe the marking of an event at intervals of other than twelve months.

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+1 I originally agreed with the OP's assertion that "'anniversary' very specifically means 'annual commemoration.'" But examination of the usage on the internet has swayed me. – D Krueger Sep 18 '11 at 3:36

How about mensinary, from the Latin root mensis, "month"?

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“Nth mensiversary” is (rarely) used for a N-month commemoration.

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It's on Wiktionary, but not yet in a dictionary. This should be the technical correct term though. en.wiktionary.org/wiki/mensiversary – JoseK Sep 16 '11 at 6:27
I love "mensiversary" except for the obvious how-this-will-be-construed connotations. I can imagine some future where women celebrate their first period with a "mensiversary." (Of course, "menses" comes from the same root, so.) – fluffy Sep 16 '11 at 17:53

My suggestion is to call such an event a "commemoration", as "commemoration" doesn't necessarily mean this takes place yearly:

an observance or celebration designed to honor the memory of some person or event.

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That was in fluffy's title.... but it does do the job. – jbelacqua Sep 16 '11 at 6:25
"Commemoration" feels like it has other connotations for it that aren't quite fitting. I was uncomfortable about using it in the title but it was the least-unfit word I could think of. – fluffy Sep 16 '11 at 17:54

You can call a six-month anniversary a "biannual"; two years, "biennial"; three, "triennial," and so on, utilizing Latin roots.

You can see a long list of such terms here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anniversary#Latin-derived_numerical_names

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But be careful with "biannual" because it can mean both twice a year and also once every two years. Same goes for other bi- words like bi-weekly. – Hugo Sep 16 '11 at 6:51
@Hugo No, it does not mean that. It means "twice a year", however, that's not necessarily every 6 months. – z7sg Ѫ Sep 16 '11 at 10:45
@z7sg Ѫ Perhaps you're right, some dictionaries must be wrong. But bi- can mean "occurring twice in every one or once in every two" so it's worth being careful. This usage note warns "All words except biennial referring to periods of time and prefixed by bi- are potentially ambiguous." – Hugo Sep 16 '11 at 11:59
@Hugo It's true that those dictionaries do give mistaken senses for usages above a certain threshold (I don't know what that is). I think this is unfortunate. ODO does not list this usage. "Biannual and biennial are also confusing: biannual means‘ occurring twice a year’ and biennial means‘ occurring every two years’" – z7sg Ѫ Sep 16 '11 at 12:32

protected by tchrist Dec 5 '14 at 18:29

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