Hurricane

Do you actually know where the word hurricane derives from?

The word hurricane has its origin most likely from the Mayan languages and means “god of the winds” (see Huracan). Thanks to Wikipedia you can also find the additional information: This god is believed by scholars to have been at least partially derived from the Mayan creator god, Huracan. Huracan was believed by the Maya to have created dry land out of the turbulent waters. The god was also credited with later destroying the “wooden people”, the precursors to the “maize people”, with an immense storm and flood. Huracan is also the source of the word orcan, another word for a particularly strong European windstorm.

Juracán is the phonetic name given by the Spanish settlers to the god of chaos and disorder that the Taino Indians in Puerto Rico (and also the Carib and Arawak Indians elsewhere in the Caribbean) believed controlled the weather, particularly hurricanes. From this we derive the Spanish word huracán and eventually the English word hurricane. As the pronunciation varied across various indigenous groups, there were many alternative names along the way. The OED mentions furacan, furican, haurachan, herycano, hurachano, hurricano, and so on. The term makes an early appearance in William Shakespeare’s King Lear (Act 3, Scene 2), and in Troilus and Cressida (Act 5, Scene 2), in which Shakespeare gives the following definition: “the dreadful spout which shipmen do the hurricano call, Constringed (i.e., compressed) in mass by the almighty sun”.

Hurricane season is each year from June 1st to November 30th. Hurricane form as a rule in the area of the trade winds over water, with a water temperature of at least 26,5°C.

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