General information and resources for students and adult learners.


Noel, the French word for Christmas, is derived from the Latin dies natalis, meaning “birthday”.  It became established in the English language through the popular carol, ”The First Noel”

The word Noel has been subject to fanciful etymology-interpretations that go beyond the Latin root have been ascribed to it.  

For instance, Noel was said to derived from nouvelles, the French word for the (good) news because this is what the birth of Jesus Christ brought to the world.  Others recognised in Noel, a corrupted rendering of the joyful claim that, with the saviour ‘s coming, everything ‘now well’.


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