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Word and Phrase Origins

How long is a fortnight?


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August 06, 2011 11:14AM

'Fortnight' comes from the old english, feorwertyne niht, which means '14 nights'.

Fortnight is a commonly used word in Britain and many Commonwealth countries such as Pakistan, India, New Zealand and Australia where many wages, salaries and most social security benefits are paid on a fortnightly basis. The word is rarely used in the United States, but is used regionally in Canada. Payroll systems may use the term biweekly in reference to pay periods every two weeks. The terms fortnightly and biweekly are often mistakenly conflated with semimonthly.

Thus a "fortnight" is 2 weeks or 14 consecutive days.
Two weeks equals to 14 days. Derives from old english means "fourteen night".