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Does a word for this exist?
July 21, 2013 3:59 AM   Subscribe

Is there a word that means "sunrise or sunset?"

E.g., "I saw sunrise yesterday, sunset yesterday, and sunrise today. I saw three consecutive ________s."

Best would be an existing English word; alternately, feel free to a) suggest words from other languages or b) coin your own.
posted by DevilsAdvocate to Writing & Language (29 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
 
Twilight? Gloaming?
posted by seanmpuckett at 4:02 AM on July 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


If you really want to get technical, based on the light effects that each create (which are of course always relative and highly localized), you could call the events "Mie Scatters".
posted by planetesimal at 4:11 AM on July 21, 2013


Sun/horizon intersections.
posted by pompomtom at 4:17 AM on July 21, 2013


I don't know of a term for this, but I suggest we call them horizon events.
posted by nomis at 4:17 AM on July 21, 2013 [12 favorites]


Twilight covers both, in a pedantic sense, but not a vernacular one. See crepuscular.
posted by gregglind at 4:35 AM on July 21, 2013 [7 favorites]


Terminator.
posted by A Thousand Baited Hooks at 4:37 AM on July 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


Hawke-Delpy events?
posted by dhartung at 4:39 AM on July 21, 2013 [25 favorites]


Transitions?
posted by Thorzdad at 4:46 AM on July 21, 2013


Terminators
posted by hal_c_on at 5:05 AM on July 21, 2013


I think I disagree with "terminator". The terminator is at the same place that you are when you see the sun rise or set, but it is not the sunrise or the sunset.
posted by Flunkie at 5:25 AM on July 21, 2013


Taking a hint from gregglind's reply:

According to the OED, there's a now-rare word "crepuscule" as in the following citation from Chaucer:
The spring of the dawyng & the ende of the euenyng, the which ben called the two crepusculus.
posted by Flunkie at 5:35 AM on July 21, 2013 [10 favorites]


half-light
posted by JimN2TAW at 5:39 AM on July 21, 2013


Seconding (thirding?) crepuscular.
posted by Specklet at 6:17 AM on July 21, 2013


CitricBaba used to call that time the blue half hour
posted by spunweb at 6:42 AM on July 21, 2013


Solar aloha
posted by oceanjesse at 6:45 AM on July 21, 2013 [4 favorites]


I was going to suggest a back-formation from crepuscular as well, and I'm pleased to see it appears to be an actual word, as Flunkie pointed out.
posted by Rock Steady at 6:48 AM on July 21, 2013


Seconding (thirding?) crepuscular.
Well, to be clear, "crepuscular" is an adjective. The OP seems to be looking for a noun. That's why I suggested "crepuscule".
posted by Flunkie at 6:51 AM on July 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


In the world of film making both are often referred to as "magic hour" due to the quality of the light.
posted by Captain Najork at 7:08 AM on July 21, 2013


I don't think there is an English word that means both "sunrise" and "sunset". Aurora, however, means "dawn" or sunrise. If you prefer a made up word though, I'd suggest sunflux.
posted by LuckySeven~ at 7:15 AM on July 21, 2013


"[...] three consecutive blue hours."
posted by wondrous strange snow at 7:57 AM on July 21, 2013


While "twilight" and "crepuscule" are linked to when the sun rises or sets, they are really names for the quality of light at the time. I believe the asker wants a name for the actual movement of the sun over the skyline, whether rising or setting. There may be such a word in astronomy--indeed, astronauts may have a specific term given that they witness so many and so often--but it is unlikely in everyday speech. I certainly don't know of one in English.

If you wish to have a new word I can only suggest "sunturn" or "dayturn". They are simple yet descriptive. More poetically, "sunstep" or "sunsill" from the idea that the sun is crossing the threshold of the horizon.
posted by Thing at 8:32 AM on July 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


While "twilight" and "crepuscule" are linked to when the sun rises or sets, they are really names for the quality of light at the time.
That's not the only meaning of them; they also can refer to the general time period. And "sunrise" or "sunset" does not necessarily refer to the specific act of the sun rising or setting; they can also refer to the general time period. So I do think that "twilight" and "crepuscule" might be OK, depending upon what the OP means. If they mean specifically the act of rising or setting, and definitely not the time period, maybe they should say so.
posted by Flunkie at 10:12 AM on July 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


In German, Dämmerung is used colloquially for both ends of the day. Morgendämmerung is morning twilight and Abenddämmerung is evening twilight if you need to be specific. Now you can enjoy the ambiguity of Götterdämmerung, title of the last opera in the Ring Cycle (Götter = gods).
posted by drdanger at 11:02 AM on July 21, 2013 [3 favorites]


I vote for dämmerung, though I am likewise happy to know that crepuscle is a valid word. Several online dictionaries define it as evening only, which doesn't square with crepuscular.
posted by theora55 at 12:30 PM on July 21, 2013


The golden hour, defined here as "the first and last hour of sunlight during the day when a specific photographic effect is achieved due to the quality of the light."
posted by MonkeyToes at 12:51 PM on July 21, 2013


Twixtlight?
posted by mibo at 4:06 PM on July 21, 2013


Transhelion? And three transhelia?
posted by Beti at 8:10 PM on July 21, 2013


If they mean specifically the act of rising or setting, and definitely not the time period, maybe they should say so.

I did mean specifically the act of rising or setting; apologies if this was not clear from my example sentence.

Hawke-Delpy events?

Had to Google that—I'll admit, it gave me a chuckle, but a Hawke-Delpy event would now have to include midnight, it seems.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 9:01 PM on July 21, 2013


For those suggesting twilight, it's worth noting that twilight has a very specific technical definition and all of the three types of twilights cover define events that are after the moment that the Sun sets.

Defining the "moment" that an extended object crosses a boundary is a whole 'nother issue.
posted by Betelgeuse at 9:30 AM on July 22, 2013


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