Good Question: Once In A Blue Moon

By: Jeff Herndon Email
By: Jeff Herndon Email

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Thursday, May 17, 2012

Tonight on Good Question, once in a blue moon I like to find out why we say certain things, like “once in a blue moon.” Why do we say that?

Good question.

I know it refers to something that doesn’t happen all the time. But a blue moon? I’m pretty sure the moon never turns blue, not even once in a while. So why do we say it?

First of all, a “blue moon” has two different definitions. It refers to the second full moon in a calendar month. For that to happen, a full moon must occur near the beginning of the month so that the second will happen in the same month.

The other definition is a third full moon in a season that has four full moons. Either way, both are rare, thus the meaning of the phrase “once in a blue moon.” The term “blue moon” dates back to the 1500s.

When is the next blue moon? According to experts who study this kind of stuff, the next blue moon will occur on August 31. The Farmer’s Almanac says August 21. Technically, if you really want to do something once in a blue moon, do it in August.

If you have a good question, send it to me at I will do my best to answer your good question each Thursday on KAKE News at 10.

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