The Church of the Divine Earth

The Naming of the Days of the Week

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 sun(nen)day
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 mone(n)day
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 tewesday
Old English tiwesdæg "Tiw's (Tiu's) day"
Latin dies Martis "day of Mars"
Ancient Greek hemera Areos "day of Ares"

Wednesday -- Woden's day

Middle English wodnesday, wednesday, or wednesdai
Old English wodnesdæg "Woden's day"
Latin dies Mercurii "day of Mercury"
Ancient Greek hemera Hermu "day of Hermes"

Thursday -- Thor's day

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".


Friday -- Freya's day

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 Aphrodite"

Saturday -- Saturn's day

Middle English saterday
Old English sæter(nes)dæg "Saturn's day"
Latin dies Saturni "day of Saturn"
Ancient Greek hemera Khronu "day of Cronus"

Day God

Origin of the Name
Sunday Sun [Sax. 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.
Monday Moon [Sax. monandæg; D. maandag; G. nontag; moon and day; being formerly sacred to that planet.] The second day of the week.
Tuesday Mars or

[Sw. 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 week.
Wednesday Wooden [Sax. 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.
Thursday Thor [Dan. 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 week
Friday Frigg or

[Sax. 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.
Saturday Saturn [Sax. Sæter-dag; D. Saturdag; Saturn's day.]
The last day of the week.

Social Studies for Kids

How the Days of the Week Got Their Names

The days of the week were named after Norse gods and giant objects in the sky.

These names come to us originally from the Greeks and Romans, who named the days of the week after their gods.

The 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.

Here's how:

Sunday: 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.

Monday: Moon's Day. The Moon was thought to be very important in the lives of people and their crops.

Tuesday: Tiw's Day. Tiw, or Tyr, was a Norse god known for his sense of justice.

Wednesday: Woden's Day. Woden, or Odin, was a Norse god who was one of the most powerful of them all.

Thursday: Thor's Day. Thor was a Norse god who wielded a giant hammer.

Friday: Frigg's Day. Frigg was a Norse god equal in power to Odin.

Saturday: Seater's Day or Saturn's Day. Saturn was a Roman god.