Days: A History Of Time
The history of the names of the days of the week is a tangled one. The Greeks named the days of the week after their gods, but when the Romans were supreme, they substituted the names of their favorite gods for the original Greek names. However, with English being a Germanic language, it’s perhaps no surprise that our current week has several days named after Germanic gods.
Sunday was the day of the sun, whether you were Latin, Greek or Germanic, while Monday was the day of the moon. Tuesday is named after the God of War (who was Mars in Latin and Ares in Greek). However, the English form comes from Tiu/Tiwa, the Germanic/English name of the god of war and the sky.
Wednesday is named after Wodin, the main Teutonic god, who is similar to the Norse god, Odin. In Latinate languages such as French and Spanish, this day is named after the messenger of the gods, Mercury. Thursday is named after Thor, the Norse god of thunder. In Latinate languages, this day is named after the chief Roman god, Jupiter, who created thunder and lightning.
Friday is named after the Teutonic goddess of love, fertility and beauty, Freya. In Latinate languages, this day is named after the Roman goddess Venus, who had similar responsibilities. Finally, Saturday is named after the planet Saturn.
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