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This article assists you in acquiring the names of the days of the week in English and provides guidance on their pronunciation. Additionally, we include some entertaining anecdotes to aid in your retention of this information.

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What links the calendar, popular music, and crucial English vocabulary? A significant emphasis on the days of the week!

Mastering the days of the week in English is crucial because effective time management and coordination are vital for accomplishing tasks and building new connections. Imagine needing to see a doctor when you’re unwell – showing up on Monday when the appointment is on Tuesday won’t be of much help. Similarly, if your boss mentions a Wednesday meeting and you mistakenly mark it on your calendar as Friday, it could lead to embarrassment and a missed opportunity.

If you’ve ever pondered over the days of the week in English and sought ways to memorize them effectively, Preply has you covered. This article delves into the names of the days, their pronunciation, origins, and provides tips and tricks to ensure you remember this information.

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The names days of the week in English

If you’ve previously participated in online English lessons, you might already be aware of this, but initially, we’ll thoroughly examine each day of the week in English. This includes delving into their phonetic pronunciations, origins, and meanings. Subsequently, we’ll explore the significance of their history and how it intertwines with the diverse cultures of English-speaking countries.

Sunday

The term “Sunday” (pronounced SUHN day) is easily memorable because numerous cultures and languages link the sun to daytime. The origins of many English days of the week can be traced back to old German and Norse languages, where the sun was revered as a goddess named Sunna or Sól.

Much like the sunrise marks the beginning of the day, Sunday marks the commencement of the week in most Anglophone nations. For certain Christians who traditionally attend church on Sunday, it can be associated with the ascension of Jesus Christ (the Son) into heaven. Despite the secular outlook of many individuals in English-speaking countries, numerous Anglophone businesses, even those open on weekends, still observe the tradition of closing on Sundays.

Monday

Some individuals adore Sunday for its relaxing nature but harbor disdain for Monday as it signifies the beginning of the work week. Just as the moon succeeds the sun, Monday (pronounced MOHN day) follows Sunday, with “Mon” deriving from the word “moon.” In Norse mythology, the moon god is the brother of the sun goddess, reinforcing the idea that Sunday and Monday are inseparable.

For those struggling to recall Monday, it may be helpful to note that there are numerous songs available to aid in English practice. An iconic example is “Manic Monday” by The Bangles, a widely recognized and relatable song in which the singer expresses a wish for it to be Sunday instead of Monday.

Tuesday

Tuesday (pronounced TOOZ day) is also named after a god: Tyr, the one-handed Norse god of dueling. While it remains unclear why Tyr is specifically associated with the third day of the week, “Tuesday” can be easily recalled due to its phonetic similarity to “two,” signifying the second day of the workweek. Another “T” to remember is Taco Tuesday, a popular trend where Mexican restaurants offer discounts on tacos.

Although some cultures view Tuesday as an unlucky day, there are no prevalent connections between this superstition and most Anglophone communities. However, some Americans may associate Tuesday with historical or political events, such as Black Tuesday, the day of the stock market crash that triggered the Great Depression, or Super Tuesday, when numerous U.S. states conduct primary presidential elections.

Wednesday

Perhaps owing to its position in the middle of the week, Wednesday (pronounced WENZ day) finds its origin in Odin, also known as Woden. In Norse mythology, Odin holds the status of the most powerful god, suggesting that he might symbolize strength and balance—qualities often associated with getting through the challenges of “hump day.”

Wednesday is affectionately referred to as “hump day” because many individuals perceive it as a pivotal point in the week, presenting unique challenges. Analogous to the hump on a camel’s back, overcoming the difficulties of Wednesday implies that the remainder of the week should be less arduous.

Thursday

Thursday (pronounced THURZ day) is named in honor of Thor, the well-known god in Norse mythology, especially recognized through the popular movie franchise. While watching any of the Thor movies can be a enjoyable way to practice English, it might not be immediately apparent to associate Thor with Thursday; his high-profile image would seemingly align more with Friday or Saturday.

Thursday has garnered recognition in popular culture as Friday’s eve and is associated with the social media hashtag #throwback_thursday, where individuals share old pictures of their past selves. Additionally, in the UK, elections are typically held on Thursdays.

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Friday

Friday (pronounced FRY day) might vie with Saturday for the title of the most popular day of the week, but many individuals may not be aware that Friday is among the few days named after a female goddess—Freya. In Norse tradition, Freya was Odin’s wife and can be likened to a Norse Venus, symbolizing beauty and love.

Despite superstitions surrounding Friday the 13th being considered unlucky, popularized by various English-speaking movies, people equally associate Friday with fortunate deals on Black Friday. This commercial holiday originated in the US and follows Thanksgiving, with stores offering significant discounts on their products for a limited time. This event sparks a shopping frenzy, marking the beginning of the holiday season.

Saturday

From Saturday Night Fever to Saturday Night Live, Saturday (pronounced SA tuhr day) is a widely recognized and frequently referenced day of the week in English. Unlike most other days of the week, Saturday doesn’t derive its name from Norse origins but instead is linked to the Roman god Saturn.

Interestingly, Saturn is the god associated with time, offering a potential explanation for why time seems to pass quickly on Saturdays and more slowly during the workweek. Additionally, Saturn is the deity connected with abundance, wealth, renewal, and liberation, making it easy to remember the association between Saturday and Saturn. In the Jewish religion, to which many English speakers belong, Saturday is also known as “Sabbath,” representing a day of rest.

Conclusion

In this article, we have discussed the English days of the week, their origins, and abbreviations. This knowledge is crucial for enhancing your English vocabulary and effectively communicating essential information, such as meetings, appointments, and dates.

 

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Find out your A1 A2 B1 B2 C1 C2 level of English with our quick, free online test.