Tuesday, 5 March 2013


Which day were you born on? This is what my B1 students were discussing in their lesson last week. They were also wondering why the days have such weird spellings in English. So this I’ve prepared this for you.

 Which day were you born on? Is it significant?

Monday's child is fair of face,
Tuesday's child is full of grace,
Wednesday's child is full of woe,
Thursday's child has far to go;
Friday's child is loving and giving,
Saturday's child works hard for a living;
But the child that is born on the Sabbath day
Is blithe and bonny, good and gay.*


*At the time the poem was written gay meant happy, not homosexual!
Sabbath = Sunday in a Christian country.
woe = sadness
blithe  = care-free
bonny = attractive

If you want to find out what day you were born on and your folks cannot tell you, Google a calendar for the month and year you were born. I’m a Tuesday child by the way!


Despite being known as the Lord’s Day in many predominantly Christian countries – Greece included – the English name goes back to the time of sun worship. The strength of the sun was given to the first day of the week. This is true of most countries which were ruled at some point in history by the Roman Empire, as Britain was. The origin of the word is Saxon; Soonedaeg.


You guessed it! The moon’s day. This also dates back to the Romans. Perhaps to bring a balance as the power of the moon was considered evil! The origin of the name in English is from the Middle Ages.


The Saxons are responsible for this name. They worshipped the Norse gods. The god Tiw was the god of war, courage and the sword.


Woden’s Tag or Woden’s Day morphed into the name we use today again from the time of the Anglo-Saxon’s. Woden was the top god, the Norse equivalent of Zeus if you like. He was a magician and a healer as well as bringer of winds apart from many other things.


Thor, god of thunder and rain, is probably the most well-known Norse god and Thursday is named after him. The Normans are responsible for the name as they worshipped Thor under the name of Thur.


Frigga was the Anglo-Saxon goddess of married love, housewives, the sky and the clouds and it is to her we owe the name Friday.


Saturn was the Roman god of seeds and sowing and was the ruler of the gods until Jupiter stole his throne. Saturday is named after him.

If you want to learn more about days check out my information source, The Days Of The Week by Paul Hughes.

(Thanks to E.T.,K.K.,L.G.,C.T.,N.V.,A.P. & F.T. for the idea!)

No comments: