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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Yule \Yule\ ([=u]l), n. [OE. yol, [yogh]ol, AS. ge['o]l; akin to ge['o]la December or January, Icel. j[=o]l Yule, Ylir the name of a winter month, Sw. jul Christmas, Dan. juul, Goth. jiuleis November or December. Cf. Jolly.] Christmas or Christmastide; the feast of the Nativity of our Savior.

And at each pause they kiss; was never seen such rule In any place but here, at bonfire, or at Yule.

Yule block, or Yule log, a large log of wood formerly put on the hearth on Christmas eve, as the foundation of the fire. It was brought in with much ceremony.

Yule clog, the yule log.
--Halliwell. W. Irving.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

Old English geol, geola "Christmas Day, Christmastide," from Old Norse jol (plural), a heathen feast, later taken over by Christianity, of unknown origin.\n

\nThe Old English (Anglian) cognate giuli was the Anglo-Saxons' name for a two-month midwinter season corresponding to Roman December and January, a time of important feasts but not itself a festival. After conversion to Christianity it narrowed to mean "the 12-day feast of the Nativity" (which began Dec. 25), but was replaced by Christmas by 11c., except in the northeast (areas of Danish settlement), where it remained the usual word.\n

\nRevived 19c. by writers to mean "the Christmas of 'Merrie England.' " First direct reference to the Yule log is 17c. Old Norse jol seems to have been borrowed in Old French as jolif, hence Modern French joli "pretty, nice," originally "festive" (see jolly).


n. (alternative case form of Yule English)


Yule or Yuletide ("Yule time") is a festival observed by the historical Germanic peoples, later undergoing Christianised reformulation resulting in the now better-known Christmastide. The earliest references to Yule are by way of indigenous Germanic month names (Before Yule) or and (After Yule). Scholars have connected the celebration to the Wild Hunt, the god Odin and the pagan Anglo-Saxon Mōdraniht.

Terms with an etymological equivalent to Yule are used in the Nordic countries for Christmas with its religious rites, but also for the holidays of this season. Yule is also used to a lesser extent in English-speaking countries to refer to Christmas. Present day Christmas customs such as the Yule log, Yule goat, Yule boar, Yule singing, and others stem from the original pagan Yule. A number of Neopagans have introduced their own rites.

Yule (disambiguation)

Yule is an ancient Germanic holiday sometimes conflated with Christmas.

Yule may also refer to:

  • Yule Social Nightlife App
  • Yule (name), people with that name and variants
Yule (surname)

Yule or Youell or Youle or Youll or Yuill is a surname generally of British origin. People with those surnames include:

  • Francis J. Youell (18831967), namegiver to the American football stadium Frank Youell Field
  • Mike Youle (born 1960), British doctor and clinical researcher specializing in HIV treatment
  • Wayne Youle (born 1974), New Zealand artist
  • Henry Youll (also, Youell) (1608), English madrigalist and composer
  • Jack Youll (18971918), English recipient of the Victoria Cross
  • Michael Youll (born 1939), English cricketer
  • Oliver Youll (born 1970), English cricketer
  • Paul Youll (born 1965), English science fiction artist, twin brother of Stephen
  • Stephen Youll (born 1965), English science fiction artist, twin brother of Paul
  • Jimmy Yuill (born 1959), Scottish actor
  • P. B. Yuill, pseudonym for Gordon Williams (born 1934) and Terry Venables (born 1943)
  • Robert Yuill (19242006), Canadian politician in Toronto
  • Annie Henrietta Yule (18741950), British film financier and breeder of Arabian horses
  • Billy Yule (born 1954), sit-in drummer for The Velvet Underground in 1970
  • Bob Yule (192053), New Zealand-born fighter pilot of the Royal Air Force during the Battle of Britain and Second World War
  • Charles Bampfield Yule (180678), Royal Naval explorer and author
  • Sir David Yule, 1st Baronet (18581928), Scottish businessman based in India
  • David Yule (field hockey) (born 1974), Canadian field hockey player
  • Doug Yule (born 1947), American musician and singer, member of The Velvet Underground 19681973
  • George Yule (182992), Scottish merchant in England and India who served as the fourth President of the Indian National Congress in 1888 at Allahabad
  • Henry Yule (182089), Scottish orientalist
  • Joe Yule (18921950), Scottish-American vaudeville comedian, father of Mickey Rooney
  • Paul Yule (active from 1980), British photographer and film maker
  • Paul Alan Yule (active from 1981), German archaeologist
  • Thomas Yule (born 1976), South African-born Scottish weightlifter
  • Tom Yule (born 1888), Scottish footballer
  • Tommy Yule (born 1953), Scottish footballer
  • Udny Yule (18711951), Scottish statistician

Youell has also been used as a forename. People with that forename include:

  • Youell Swinney (19171994), American suspected murderer

Usage examples of "yule".

When he returns, the blond youth, who turns out to be named Mordecai Yule, is bursting to enlighten him.

Vovoka is next to Linnix, Ochter beyond, and Yule with Hiner at the end.

And Hiner seems to have too much regard for his own well-being to get mixed up with Yule in some wild scheme that would only bring disaster.

Kip had noticed her pausing to see where Yule settled before choosing her place.

Meanwhile Yule has been climbing steadily, looking at everything, even back toward the hostel.

Even Yule has shed his sneer and looks like what he probably is, a decent young scientist.

And that baby goon Yule and the unpleasant waterman, with their faint Black Worlds stink, have pulled off getting here very neatly indeed.

And now he, Zannez, has the hunch of trouble from these two, Yule and Hiner, who certainly arrived here without checkout, in what could be, given resources, a preplanned job.

Ochter, Hiner, and Yule take a final glance at the sky, which is showing the start of a normal, if very beautiful, sunset, and saunter into the lounge.

Trouble, he said, from those unlisted, uncleared two, Yule and Hiner, who might be in league with Vovoka, or, of all people, little Doctor Ochter.

As they near Cory, Kip hears quiet footfalls by the hostel wall and turns to see Hiner and Yule take positions near their chairs.

Wyrra bows formally to Hiner and Yule, an action of pure beauty, his long wings crossing over his back.

And then Hiner insisted on injecting himself and Yule, too, and he had quite a little ritual.

Horrified, Baram is realizing that Hiner and Yule are at their bloody crime, not in the village, but right here near or in the hostel itself.

Mumbling, Yule flips the tabard onto the floor near Linnix, frowning down at his dirty boots.