The noun 'a calendar', meaning 'a list of days, months or (less often) years', or 'a system of arranging days, weeks and months', is spelled thus with an '-a-' as the final vowel. This spelling comes from the origin. the Latin word Calendae, meaning 'Calends' - a date in the Roman month. For more, see Roman calendar (months).
- The word calender, which some writers misuse for calendar, does exist; OED records three nouns and one verb. None of these is likely to be of interest to most users of AWE.
- In the fields of paper-making and textiles, a calender is a machine through whose rollers a piece of material - paper or cloth - is passed to give it a specific surface finish, such as shiny, embossed or in some way stiffened or patterned. (This word has the same root as 'cylinder' - i.e. the rollers which have the desired effect.)
- This meaning gives the verb 'to calender', 'to pass cloth or paper through a calender [-ing machine]'.
- In the 16th and 17th centuries, calender was also used for what is more properly termed calenderer - 'one who calenders' cloth'
- From the seventeenth century onwards, calender was also used as a transliteration of the Arabic and Turkish word which is now written qalandar: "A member of a mendicant order of dervishes in Turkey and Persia (modern Iran)" (OED, 1888).
- The least likely word for modern students is 'a calender' meaning 'a corn-weevil'. This is labelled by OED, q.v calender n.3, as "obs[olete] rare".
- It is also possible to confuse, by typing mistake or otherwise, the most common calendar with colander, sometimes spelled cullender and always pronounced 'CULL-end-er' IPA: /'kʌ lə(or ɪ)n dər/: the name of a metal bowl with perforations used in kitchens for draining food.
- Callender is the name of a town in Scotland. There is also a Callender in Canada, and a surname, both derived from the Scottish town. The surname is spelled Callendar by some families, as was the Earldom of Callendar (or Callender), which was forfeited after the fourth Earl supported the Old Pretender in the 'fifteen (1715). The former residence of the Earls, Callendar House, is still an imposing presence in Falkirk, in Callendar Park.
This is one of the 117 mis-spellings listed as 'Common difficulties' in the section on 'Spelling' within 'Writing' in UEfAP.