Are you reading the bible or another religious text using the phrase “year of our Lord?” What does this expression mean?
This post unpacks everything you need to know about the origin and meaning of this phrase.
The Year of Our Lord Idiom Meaning
If you’re using the “year of our Lord” in a sentence, you’re probably reading from a book or watching a movie with one of the actors saying the phrase.
Typically, the use of this phrase fades out as we dive deeper into a secular, non-religious society. However, “the year of our Lord” is a term used to signify the beginning of the Christian era after the death of Jesus Christ on the cross.
The term is the English version of the Latin, “Anno Domini.” The term may also appear as “AD,” with the number of years in front of the abbreviation showing the number of years since the death of Christ.
The Year of Our Lord Example Usage
“It was in 1523, the year of our Lord, the King’s court invited courtiers and servants to join the feast.”
“The Great Financial Crisis occurred in the year of our Lord, 2008, ushering in the Great Recession to the global economy.”
“The coronavirus pandemic started in the year of our Lord, 2020.”
“The meek and humble long for the day in the year of our Lord where their savior will return.”
The Year of Our Lord Idiom Origin
The idiomatic phrase, “in the year of our Lord,” traces back to the turn of the millennium and the use of the Gregorian and Julian calendars. The Catholic Church was the first to use the term, expanding on the Latin Anno Domini (AD), using it to describe the years after the birth of Jesus Christ.
Anno Domini translates directly to “in the year of the Lord.” You’ll often see more modern representations of the phrase using “our Lord” rather than the use of “of our Lord.”
Anno Domini is a shortening of the original Latin phrase, “Anno Domini nostril Jesu Christi.” This phrase translates to the English variant, “in the year of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
The introduction of AD to the calendar expressed years occurring after the birth of Jesus Christ, and it’s the opposite of BC.
The AD calendar system “Year of our Lord” dates back to its creation in 525 by Dionysius Exiguus of Scythia Minor. However, most cultures didn’t start using it in language until the fading use of the Julian calendar around the 9th century and the shift towards the Gregorian calendar instead.
The use of Anno Domini in the calendar system replaced the Diocletian, doing away with the older Easter table. Dionysius Exiguus designed the system to avoid a legacy as a Christian-persecuting tyrant.
Phrases Similar to The Year of Our Lord
- In the year of the Lord.
- In the year of our Lord Jesus Christ.
- Anno Domini.
Phrases Opposite to The Year of Our Lord
- Before Christ.
What is the Correct Saying?
- The year of our Lord.
Ways People May Say The Year of Our Lord Incorrectly
Some people may use the phrase in the wrong setting. Today’s society is far more secular than it was just 50-years ago. Therefore, using the phrase might seem ignorant and oppressive to other people that don’t have a Christian heritage.
Acceptable Ways to Phrase The Year of Our Lord
You can use “the year of our Lord” in a religious ceremony or when writing formal notes. Typically, you’re never going to use this in professional or social conversations. The phrase is archaic, and there isn’t must use for it today.