The Greeks named the days week after
the sun, the moon and the five known planets, which were in turn named after the gods Ares, Hermes, Zeus,
Aphrodite, and Cronus. The Greeks called the days of the week the Theon hemerai "days of the Gods". The
Romans substituted their equivalent gods for the Greek gods, Mars, Mercury, Jove (Jupiter), Venus, and
Saturn. (The two pantheons are very similar.) The Germanic peoples generally substituted roughly similar
gods for the Roman gods, Tiu (Twia), Woden, Thor, Freya (Fria), but did not substitute Saturn.
Sunday -- Sun's day
Middle English sone(n)day or
Old English sunnandæg "day of the sun"
Germanic sunnon-dagaz "day of the sun"
Latin dies solis "day of the sun"
Ancient Greek hemera heli(o)u, "day of the sun"
Monday -- Moon's day
Middle English monday or
Old English mon(an)dæg "day of the moon"
Latin dies lunae "day of the moon"
Ancient Greek hemera selenes "day of the moon"
Tuesday -- Tiu's day
Middle English tiwesday or
Old English tiwesdæg "Tiw's (Tiu's) day"
Latin dies Martis "day of Mars"
Ancient Greek hemera Areos "day of Ares"
Middle English wodnesday, wednesday,
Old English wodnesdæg "Woden's day"
Latin dies Mercurii "day of Mercury"
Ancient Greek hemera Hermu "day of Hermes"
Middle English thur(e)sday
Old English thursdæg
Old Norse thorsdagr "Thor's day"
Old English thunresdæg "thunder's day"
Latin dies Jovis "day of Jupiter"
Ancient Greek hemera Dios "day of Zeus".
Middle English fridai
Old English frigedæg "Freya's day"
composed of Frige (genetive singular of Freo) + dæg
"day" (most likely) or composed of Frig "Frigg"
+ dæg "day" (least likely)
Germanic frije-dagaz "Freya's (or Frigg's) day"
Latin dies Veneris "Venus's day"
Ancient Greek hemera Aphrodites "day of
Middle English saterday
Old English sæter(nes)dæg "Saturn's day"
Latin dies Saturni "day of Saturn"
Ancient Greek hemera Khronu "day of Cronus"
|Origin of the Name
sunna-dæg; G. sonntag; D. zondag; Dan. söndag; Sw. sondag;
so called because this day was anciently dedicated to the
sun, or to its worship.] The first day of the week.
monandæg; D. maandag; G. nontag; moon and day; being
formerly sacred to that planet.] The second day of the week.
Tisdag; Dan. Tirsdag; D. Dingsdag; G. Dingstag; Sax. Tiwæsdæg
or Tuesdæg, from Tig, Tiig, or Tuisco, the Mars of our
ancestors, the deity that presided over combats, strife and
litigation. Hence Tuesday is court day, assize day; the day
for combat or commencing litigation. The third day of the
Wodensdæg; Woden's day; Sw. Odenstag or Onsdag; from Wodin
or Odin, a deity or chief among the northern nations of
Europe.] The fourth day of the week.
Torsdag, that is, Thor's day, the day consecrated to Thor,
the god of thunder answering to the Jove of the Greeks and
Romans, L. dies Jovis; It. Giovedi; Sp. Jueves; Fr. Jeudi.
So in G. donnerstag, D. donderdag, thunderday. This Thor is
from the root of W. taran, thunder; taraw, to strike, hit or
produce a shock; Gaelic, Ir. toirn, a great noise; toirneas,
thunder. The root of the word signifies to drive, to fush,
to strike. In Sw. thorndon is thunder.] The fifth day of the
|| Frigg or
frig-dæg; G. freitag; D. vrydag; from Frigga, the Venus of
the north; D. vrouw, G. frau, Ir. frag, a woman.]
The sixth day of the week, formerly consecrated to Frigga.
Sæter-dag; D. Saturdag; Saturn's day.]
The last day of the week.
the Days of the Week Got Their Names
days of the week were named after Norse gods and giant
objects in the sky.
names come to us originally from the Greeks and Romans,
who named the days of the week after their gods.
Anglo-Saxons, who invaded Britain hundreds of years ago,
adopted this idea but substituted their own gods. The
English language has inherited and changed those names a
bit, but the ones we use today resemble those names.
Sun's Day. The Sun gave people light and warmth every
day. They decided to name the first (or last) day of
the week after the Sun.
Moon's Day. The Moon was thought to be very important
in the lives of people and their crops.
Tiw's Day. Tiw, or Tyr, was a Norse god known for his
sense of justice.
Woden's Day. Woden, or Odin, was a Norse god who was
one of the most powerful of them all.
Thor's Day. Thor was a Norse god who wielded a giant
Frigg's Day. Frigg was a Norse god equal in power to
Seater's Day or Saturn's Day. Saturn was a Roman god.