Do You Capitalize The Word “Noon”? When & When Not To


do you capitalize noon

Capitalization gives strength and a different meaning to the word being capitalized. It also facilitates things for those reading who are knowledgeable of general grammar rules to better understand what they read, and what the writer meant.

The word “noon” is one of many that fall under the traditional rules for capitalization. We would capitalize it at the beginning of a sentence, or when used as a proper noun, or used with another word that turns it into a proper noun. Otherwise, it will appear without being capitalized most of the time.

noon word brick wall flourencent lights

Something else to think of is that “noon” is most commonly used as part of the compound word “afternoon”, or when writing “good afternoon”. In which case, “noon” would never require capitalization because we would never capitalize a letter in the middle of a word. We capitalize the word at the beginning, we capitalize the entire word if we want to add a certain tone as if we were shouting or we do not capitalize words at all.

Etymology Of The Word “Noon”

The root of “noon” is in the Latin phrase “nona hora”, which means the ninth hour of the day. In the times of the Western and European Monastic Day, the 5th hour was 15:00 hours or 3:00 PM. As time passed this hour, that was the time of the equinox shifted to midday, and by the 14th century the word “noon” was officially known as the middle of the day, and the time was, as it is until this day 12:00 PM.

Phrases Where The Word “Noon” Is Incorporated

A phrase that is common and contains the word “noon” is “solar noon” or in the informal tone “high noon”. This refers to the highest reaching point in the horizon of the sun in relation to the meridian on any particular day. It also thought of as the time in which the sun casts its shortest shadow in the “sun transit time”. 

The phrase “noon of night” or “the noon of night” has also been used in the past but it has a rather archaic meaning since there is no sun or shadow unless it refers to the moon. However, we all know that is not the use meant for this word.

Is The Word “Noon” To Be Capitalized?

To answer this question we need to think of capitalization rules and how the word “noon” is put to use in the sentence. 

The first cardinal rule for capitalization is that we are always to capitalize the first word of a sentence, or the first word after a period has been used. For example:

  • We agreed to meet by noon tomorrow, to have lunch and go over things.

In this sentence, we use the word “noon” but since it is not at the beginning of the sentence, per the first rule of capitalization we don’t capitalize it. However, the word “we” in the sentence is capitalized because it is the one that opens the sentence.

The second cardinal rule for capitalization is that we are always to capitalize proper names of people, places, and any other proper nouns. See the example below:

  • As noon approached, Lidia became restless and decided she could not wait a minute more.

As seen in the example, the name “Lidia” is capitalized despite being located in the middle of the sentence and again, we have used the word “noon” but it didn’t need to be capitalized in this instance.

The third cardinal rule for capitalization is that we always capitalize holidays, months, and days when writing. But the seasons don’t need to be capitalized every time. For example:

  • Since Christmas was next Wednesday we decided on what to cook the week before.

This one is pretty self-explanatory, we used a holiday and a day of the week, both were capitalized in the sentence regardless of their location in it.

The fourth cardinal rule is we never capitalize words after the use of the colon. The only exception to that rule is proper nouns will still be capitalized after a colon. For example:

  • The places I enjoy the most are: the park, the gardens, and the riverbank.

In this example the only word that needed to be capitalized was “the”, everything else before or after the colon remained in lowercase.

noon sun shines through leaves

Bottom line, thinking of these rules for capitalization the word “noon” doesn’t need to be capitalized for most sentences and most uses. It will only be capitalized when it represents a proper noun or when it is used at the beginning of a sentence.

Here Are Some More Examples Of “Noon” Used In A Sentence

Now that we know the correct way to capitalize, let’s see some examples using the word “noon” to get an even better idea of how it goes. 

  1. Noon on any given day in the Caribbean is so hot that it can be compared to being in the middle of the Sahara desert in the summer but with more humidity.
  2. They met at noon by the beach and went for a walk under the blazing summer sun.
  3. She would never leave her room before noon, that’s why everyone in her family would tease calling her “vampire” or “owl.”
  4. Every day by noon they finished with their studies and went outside to play. It was their favorite moment of the day.
  5. We met on Saturday at noon and stayed together the entire weekend, it was all so magical.
  6. They called their dog Noon since it brought memories of warmth and childhood innocence to everyone.
  7. It wasn’t noon yet and I was already restless and ready to leave. That’s when it hit me, I didn’t want to be there anymore, ever again, so packed my bags and I left.
  8. By noon lunch had been served, the house was clean, everything was organized and the children had bathed. I couldn’t have done it better myself.
  9. He was taken to the emergency room because he fainted on the street. However, it was nothing serious, his blood sugar was low because he forgot to have breakfast so he was out by noon the same day.
  10. It is said that every weekend by noon, come rain or come shine the sun would come out, and later rain would fall. That place was the definition of tropical weather. 

Some Synonyms of The Word “Noon”

By definition “noon” is the time of the day where the sun is at its highest point and where it casts its smallest shadow, but are there any words that could have a similar significance to “noon”? The answer is yes, and here they are:

  • Climax
  • Apex
  • Peak
  • Pinnacle
  • Summit
  • Culmination
  • Top

So if you took any of these, depending on the context they could signify the same as the word “noon”. For example:

  • They agreed to meet at the summit of that day. 

The word “summit” in this case meaning the point of the day where the sun is at its highest, so I could change that sentence and add the word “noon” and it would remain virtually unchanged.

  • They agreed to meet at noon that day.

That is the wonderful thing of knowing words and their meanings, you can play around with them and modify what you said without actually changing the meaning, just the choice of words.

Some Antonyms of The Word “Noon”

We can have light without dark, that is why we need to see some antonyms too. The first one that comes to mind, and being honest its direct opposite is the word “midnight”. If “noon” is midday, then what better to oppose it than the middle of the night. 

However, here is a list of some other words that are the opposite in meaning to the word “noon”:

  • Base
  • Foot
  • Bottom
  • Rock bottom
  • Nadir
  • Minimum

Some of these are somewhat odd, you would not think for example, that “minimum” would be even remotely connected to the word “noon” but as it turns out, we are thinking of the highest and most bright moment of the sun, therefore the “minimum” is its exact opposite.

Summary

clock shows twelve at noon

To wrap things up it is safe to say that the word “noon” is more often than not, left without any capitalization when used in writing. Nevertheless, traditional rules of grammar and writing will still apply so we would capitalize it every time it opens a sentence and if it is ever used as a proper noun. 

It is a simple and straightforward word but is not used as often as you might think because in many cases it lacks specificity, and in today’s world every second counts. 

So, when planning to meet a friend for lunch, you can say you will meet them around noon and it will work just fine because in the broader sense of the word “noon” it can be any time from 12:00 PM to even 1:00 PM thinking on the sun brightest moment and you normal lunch hours.

Now, if you were to do the same for a formal appointment the specific time must be agreed on, because too much will be left open for interpretation of what you think noon would be or the other party and you risk making a bad impression on the party expecting you or missing the appointment altogether. 

Shawn Manaher

Shawn Manaher is the founder and CEO of The Content Authority. He's one part content manager, one part writing ninja organizer, and two parts leader of top content creators. You don't even want to know what he calls pancakes.

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