Some wages and salaries are paid on a fortnightly basis; however, in North America it is far more common to use the term biweekly. Neither of these terms should be confused with semimonthly, which divides a year into exactly 24 periods (12 months × 2), instead of the 26 (≈52 weeks ÷ 2) of fortnightly/biweekly.
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A fortnight is a term that is used prominently in sporting circles – as many major sports events have a two-week or approximately half-month time frame. In tennis, Wimbledon and the other Grand Slam tournaments are played over two weeks and are often referred to as lasting a fortnight. The Summer and Winter Olympics are also slightly longer than two weeks in length and may be referenced in this manner as well. Likewise various other events in the sporting world could fall under this characterization.
In other languages
In many languages, there is no single word for a two-week period, and the equivalent terms "two weeks", "14 days", or "15 days" (counting inclusively) have to be used.
- Celtic languages: in Welsh, the term pythefnos, meaning "15 nights", is used. This is in keeping with the Welsh term for a week, which is wythnos ("eight nights"). In Irish, the term is coicís.
- Similarly in Greek the term δεκαπενθήμερο (dekapenthímero), meaning "15 days", is used.
- The Hindu calendar uses the Sanskrit word "paksha", meaning one half of a lunar month, which is between 14 and 15 solar days.
- In Romance languages there are the terms quincena (or quince días) in Galician and Spanish, quinzena or quinze dies in Catalan and Portuguese, quindicina in Italian, quinze jours or quinzaine in French, and chenzinǎ in Romanian, all meaning "a grouping of 15"; there are also the terms bisettimanale in Italian, bisemanal in Spanish, bissemanal in Portuguese, bisetmanal in Catalan, bihebdomadaire in French, and bisǎptǎmânal in Romanian, that literally mean "biweekly".
- Semitic languages have a special "doubling suffix". When added at the end of the word for "week" it changes the meaning to "two weeks". In Hebrew, the single-word שבועיים (shvu′ayim) means exactly "two weeks". Also in Arabic, by adding the common dual suffix to the word for "week", أسبوع, the form أسبوعين (usbu′ayn), meaning "two weeks", is formed.
- Slavic languages: in Czech the terms čtrnáctidenní and dvoutýdenní have the same meaning as "fortnight".
- "Fortnight". The Concise Oxford Dictionary (5th ed.). 1964. p. 480.
- Senight, sennight or se'night (seven-night), an old word for the week, was still in use in the early 19th century, to judge from Jane Austen's letters.
- "Australian Government – How much Disability Support Pension do I get?". Archived from the original on 16 April 2008. Retrieved 22 May 2008.
- Steven Bragg (22 June 2010). "What is the difference between a semimonthly and biweekly payroll?". AccountingTools. Retrieved 23 November 2015.
Semimonthly is paid 24 times per year, and the biweekly is paid 26 times per year.
- Littmann, Mark; Fred Espenak; Ken Willcox (2008). Totality: Eclipses of the Sun. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-953209-5.
- Weisstein, Eric W. "Synodic Month definition".
- BBC (16 October 2014). "BBC Wales - Catchphrase". BBC Wales. Retrieved 18 November 2016.
Wythnos is a week.
- "Do You Know How to Say Fortnight in Different Languages?". www.indifferentlanguages.com.