PARSEDATE(3)            NetBSD Library Functions Manual           PARSEDATE(3)

     parsedate -- date parsing function

     System Utilities Library (libutil, -lutil)

     #include <util.h>

     parsedate(const char *datestr, const time_t *time, const int *tzoff);

     The parsedate function parses a datetime from datestr described in
     english relative to an optional time point and an optional timezone off-
     set in seconds specified in tzoff.  If either time or tzoff are NULL,
     then the current time and timezone offset are used.

     The datestr is a sequence of white-space separated items.  The white-
     space is optional the concatenated items are not ambiguous.  An empty
     datestr is equivalent to midnight today (the beginning of this day).

     The following words have the indicated numeric meanings: last = -1, this
     = 0, first or next 1, second is unused so that it is not confused with
     ``seconds'', third = 3, fourth = 4, fifth = 5, sixth = 6, seventh = 7,
     eighth = 8, ninth = 9, tenth = 10, eleventh = 11, twelfth = 12.

     The following words are recognized in English only: AM, PM, a.m., p.m.

     The months: january, february, march, april, may, june, july, august,
     september, sept, october, november, december,

     The days of the week: sunday, monday, tuesday, tues, wednesday, wednes,
     thursday, thur, thurs, friday, saturday.

     Time units: year, month, fortnight, week, day, hour, minute, min, second,
     sec, tomorrow, yesterday.

     Timezone names: gmt, ut, utc, wet, bst, wat, at, ast, adt, est, edt, cst,
     cdt, mst, mdt, pst, pdt, yst, ydt, hst, hdt, cat, ahst, nt, idlw, cet,
     met, mewt, mest, swt, sst, fwt, fst, eet, bt, zp4, zp5, zp6, wast, wadt,
     cct, jst, east, eadt, gst, nzt, nzst, nzdt, idle.

     A variety of unambiguous dates are recognized:
     69-09-10      For years between 69-99 we assume 1900+ and for years
                   between 0-68 we assume 2000+.
     2006-11-17    An ISO-8601 date.
     10/1/2000     October 10, 2000; the common US format.
     20 Jun 1994
     1-sep-06      Other common abbreviations.
     1/11          the year can be omitted

     As well as times:

     Relative items are also supported:
     -1 month
     last friday
     one week ago
     this thursday
     next sunday
     +2 years

     parsedate() returns the number of seconds passed since the Epoch, or -1
     if the date could not be parsed properly.

     date(1), eeprom(8)

     The parser used in parsedate() was originally written by Steven M.
     Bellovin while at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  It
     was later tweaked by a couple of people on Usenet.  Completely overhauled
     by Rich $alz and Jim Berets in August, 1990.

     The parsedate() function first appeared in NetBSD 4.0.

NetBSD 5.1                     November 17, 2006                    NetBSD 5.1

You can also request any man page by name and (optionally) by section:


Use the DEFAULT collection to view manual pages for third-party software.

©1994 Man-cgi 1.15, Panagiotis Christias <>
©1996-2015 Modified for NetBSD by Kimmo Suominen