One entry found for siesta.
Main Entry: si·es·ta
Pronunciation: semacron-primarystresses-tschwa
Function: noun
Etymology: from Spanish siesta "an afternoon nap or rest period," from Latin sexta (hora) "sixth (hour), noon"; so called because the Romans counted the hours from sunrise
: a nap or rest especially in the afternoon
Word History In the ancient Roman way of keeping track of time, the hours of the day were counted from sunrise to sunset. The hour when the sun was most nearly directly overhead was their sixth hour, or sexta hora in Latin. As Latin developed into Spanish on the Iberian Peninsula, sexta became siesta. In some countries, like Spain, it may be too hot to work in the middle of the day. There it is the custom to take a short nap until the heat begins to lessen. This rest period is called siesta in Spanish, and this word has come directly into English with the same meaning.

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