Skip to content

How did the days of the week get their names?


In English, most days’ names derive from Viking and Germanic mythology, which are closely related. One day, however, managed to retain its Roman roots after the Viking invasion to England: 

  • Sunday – in honor of Sunna, the Germanic sun god.
  • Monday – in honor of Mani, the Germanic moon god.
  • Tuesday – meaning ‘day of Tiwaz’ the one-handed Germanic god of the sky who is associated with single combat.  
  • Wednesday – meaning the day of the Germanic god ‘Woden’, also known as the Viking god ‘Odin’. Odin is associated with wisdom, healing, death, royalty, the gallows, knowledge, war, battle, victory, sorcery, poetry, frenzy, and the runic alphabet, and is the husband of the goddess Fríge.
  • Thursday – meaning Thor’s day, who is a Viking god personified in thunder. 
  • Friday – meaning the day of the Viking goddess Fríge. She is described as a goddess associated with foresight and wisdom 
  • Saturday – the only day of the week to retain its Roman origin. It is named after the Roman god Saturn associated with the Titan Cronus, father of Zeus, and many Olympians. 

Bonus fact: contrary to what you might think, the week did NOT always consist of seven (7) days. Different cultures used other week-like cycles. Romans, for example, practiced an eight (8) days market-week called Nandina. In post-revolution France, there was an attempt to establish a ten-day week (10), and the Communist Soviet Union had a short attempt to establish a five-day (5) week.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *