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The Moudiewort

Mathematical Mole Day

Oct 23

Other Scottish Country Dances for this Day

Today's Musings, History & Folklore

"Demoleition: destruction moles cause in your yard (or on your chemistry paper, if you forget Avogadro's number)"

~ Bad Mole Puns for Mole Day

Celebrated annually on October 23 from 6:02 a.m. to 6:02 p.m., Mole Day commemorates Avogadro's Number (6.02 x 1023), which is a basic measuring unit in chemistry. The word "moudiewort" comes from Middle and Early Modern English, when moles were known as mouldywarps, from cognates in other Germanic and Scandinavian languages which translate to "one who throws soil" or "dirt tosser".

The Moudiewort

Oct 23 is "Mole Day," an unofficial holiday celebrated among chemists, chemistry students and chemistry enthusiasts on October 23, between 6:02 AM and 6:02 PM, making the date 6:02 10/23 in the American style of writing dates.

The time and date for this day are derived from Avogadro's number or constant, which is approximately 6.02×10^23, defining the number of particles (atoms or molecules) in the scientific unit known as one "mole" of a substance.  The term mole was coined around the year 1900 by the German chemist Wilhelm Ostwald. It comes from the german word for molecule 'molekül'.

Chemistry aside, we give a nod to the common mole, tunneling scourge of gardeners, which in Scotland may be referred to as the moudiewort!  This word comes from Middle and Early Modern English, when moles were known as moldwarp or mouldywarp, words having having cognates in other Germanic languages as well as  DanishNorwegianSwedish and Icelandic, in which the syllables translate to "one who throws soil" or "dirt tosser".


The expression "don't make a mountain out of a mole hill" - to exaggerate problems – was first recorded in Tudor times.  Male moles are called "boars", females are called "sows," and a group of moles is called a "labour".

For interesting facts about moudieworts, click the mole!

And to see The Moudiewort performed by The Red Thistle Dancers in 2018, see below.

The Moudiewort

Click the dance cribs or description below to link to a printable version of the dance!

The Moudiewort

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