Thursday, July 19, 2012

Lost in Translation: Friday

It’s about time we get to the fifth day of the week. Or, depending on your point of view, the sixth. And before I do get into it I’ll thank you not to mention a certain song. Ever.

Portuguese: sexta-feira
French: vendredi
Italian: venerdì
Spanish: viernes
Romanian: vineri
German: Freitag
Icelandic: Fostudagur
Swedish: Fredag
Norwegian: fredag
Danish: fredag
Polish: piątek
Hungarian: péntek
Slovak: piatok
Finnish: perjantai
Estonian: reede

In Eastern European languages, many have variations on five or fifth, as they did with Thursday (Fourth-day). Estonian is unique with “reede”. I haven’t been able to find out what that means, but it wouldn’t be the only country to break out of naming tradition for a certain day. And as with the rest of the weekdays, Portuguese names Friday “sixth fair”, the sixth day after Saturday, the day that was, historically, a fair.

Most of the Romance languages keep the tradition of naming the day after a Roman god, this time the goddess of love Venus. In the Germanic languages like English, Friday either came from Frigg or Freyaof Norse mythology. Both are goddesses of love, although Frigg specifically represents married love, and although Freya is more often associated with Venus, Frigg is more likely the origin of that “Fri”. I think I’d prefer Friday coming from Frigg anyway since her name also produced the word “free” and that just seems appropriate : ).

Thank God tomorrow’s free-day, am I right?

Encyclopedia Mythica

1 comment:

  1. Curious about the root of the word, isn't it?

    And the Accursed Abomination that is a song must be sent back into the fires of Hell from whence it came, post haste.


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