Almanac

is the Arabic al manac (the diary). Verstegen says it is the Saxon al-mon-aght (all moon heed), and that it refers to the tallies of the full and new moons kept by our Saxon ancestors. One of these tallies may still be seen at St. John's College, Cambridge.

Before printing, or before it was common:

By Date

Solomon Jarchi in and after 1150

Peter de Dacia about 1300

Walter de Elvendene 1327

John Somers, Oxford 1380!!

Nicholas de Lynna 1386

Purbach 1150–1461

First printed by Gutenberg, at Mentz 1457

By Regiomontanus, at Nuremberg 1472–3

Zainer, at Ulm 1478

Richard Pynson (Sheapeheard's Kalendar) 1497!!

Stöffer, in Venice 1499

Poor Robin's Almanack 1652

Francis Moore's Almanack

between 1698 and 1713

Stamp duty imposed 1710, repealed 1834.

The Man i' the Almanac stuck with pins
(Nat. Lee), is a man marked with points referring to signs of the zodiac, and intended to indicate the favourable and unfavourable times of letting blood.

I shan't consult your almanac
(French), I shall not come to you to know what weather to expect. The

reference is to the prognostications of weather in almanacs.

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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