Looking into Long Evenings

Cambridge Girl Talk

By Xanthe Fuller 

In Old English the word for sunset was sunnansetlgong. It seems a strange word for such a lovely thing, with clunky consonants clinging onto the two syllables the English language has chosen to hold on to: sun & set.  But what is perhaps more strange, is the fact that there are always sunrises and sunsets, and there always have been. Over a thousand years ago, the same sun would disappear and the sky would – unless dense with clouds – glow somewhere on a soft spectrum between red and blue, and people would almost certainly notice and mention the sunnansetlgong, sharing the two of the same syllables that we form in our twenty-first-century mouths. It seems to be one of the sole certainties: that the sun will rise and it will set, the day will come and it will go.

Sunset did exist in Old…

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