1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Yule

YULE, the season of Christmas (q.v.) . This word is chiefly used alone as an archaism or in poetry or poetical language, but is more common in combination, as in "yule-tide," "yule-log," &c. The Old English word appears in various forms, e.g . geola, vula, geol, gehhol, gehhel; cognate forms are Icel, jól; Dan. juul; Swed. jul. It was the name of two months of the year, December and January, the one the "former yule" (se aerra geola), the other the "after yule" (se aeftera geola), as coming before and after the winter solstice (Cotton MS. Tib. B. i.; and Bede, De Temporum Ratione, 13, quoted in Skeat, Etym. Dict., 1898). According to A. Fick (Vergleichendes Worterbuch der Indogerinanischen Sprachen, vol. iii. 245, 1874) in proper meaning is noise, clamour, the season being one of rejoicing at the turning of the year among Scandinavian peoples before Christian times.