Days of the Week in English: 7 Interesting Trivia You Should Know!
We all know the drill: wake up on Monday, slog through the week, and finally reach the coveted shores of Friday, but have you ever stopped to wonder why these seven days of the week march by in such rigid formation? Why does Monday feel like a mountain and Friday a fiesta?
The answers lie not in spreadsheets or schedules but in a fascinating blend of mythology, superstition, and cultural quirks. From Norse gods wielding thunderbolts to the celestial whispers of the moon, the story of our seven-day cycle is richer and more surprising than you might imagine.
So, prepare to ditch the to-do list and embark on a whirlwind tour of the week, where weekdays shed their mundane masks to reveal a vibrant tapestry of history and human ingenuity. Buckle up, time travelers, and let’s rewrite the narrative of the Monday blues and rediscover the magic woven into every single day.
What You Need to Know About the Days of the Week in English
- The names of the days of the week in English
There are seven days of the week in English and all of them end with the suffix –day.
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday are the weekdays; whilst Saturday and Sunday are the days of the weekend.
- How to write the days of the week in English
Always start with a capital letter when writing the days of the week in English. The seven days are proper nouns and they are required to begin with a capital letter.
Monday – ✅
monday – ❎
- Preposition used with the days of the week
The preposition “on” should be used to emphasize a specific day. For example, “on Saturday, on Wednesday.” This is to specify the correct day.
I will go on vacation on Thursday.
- We sometimes use yesterday, today, and tomorrow.
The specific days of the week in English can be replaced by yesterday, today, and tomorrow to talk about a certain day if both the speaker and the listener are aware of the current day.
For example, let’s assume today is Monday. Check out the examples below:
We went to the park yesterday afternoon.
I brought my car to work today.
She will be absent tomorrow.
- For the term “weekend,” we can use both the prepositions “on” and “at” depending on which standard English language you are using: American English or British English.
American English uses “on the weekend” whilst British English uses “at the weekend”. Both are correct and acceptable.
- The days of the week in English are often abbreviated.
Monday – Mon.
Tuesday – Tue. or Tues.
Wednesday – Wed.
Thursday – Thu. or Thurs.
Friday – Fri.
Saturday – Sat.
Sunday – Sun.
- We only add –s when forming the plural form of the days of the week in English.
Sample Uses of Days of the Week
You must know how to use the days of the week in English in a specific and right context, whether in writing or in speaking. The involvement of time and the specific period like the days of the week is crucial especially when talking about important events, meetings, and other occasions.
Below are examples where we can use the seven days of the week in English in sentences.
Days of the week used in the Present
- McGregor only works on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.
- My colleagues go out for a drink every Friday.
- Do you walk your dog on Saturdays?
Days of the week used in the Past
- I visited my grandparents’ house last Sunday.
- She played volleyball on Wednesdays when she was 13 years old.
- Peter was brought to the hospital on Thursday last week because of pneumonia.
Days of the week used in the Future
- My mom will watch a new movie this Saturday.
- Who is going on a tree planting activity with us next Tuesday?
- Entries are due on January 20, 2024, Saturday.
Note that the names and spellings of the days of the week are not changed, but the tense of the sentences is determined based on indicators such as “last” and “next” as well as the tense of the verbs used in the sentences.
Trivia about the days of the week
The seven days of the week march by in a familiar parade, quietly shaping our routines and marking the passage of time. However, beneath their seemingly mundane surface lies a world of fascinating trivia, where Norse gods mingle with Roman planets and superstitions abound. So, strap yourselves in as we embark on a whirlwind tour of seven days, seven surprises:
- Believe it or not, Tuesday through Friday in English weren’t always named after Roman gods like Mercury and Venus. Before the Romans conquered Anglo-Saxon England, these days were dedicated to Norse deities: Tiw (Tuesday), Woden (Wednesday), Thor (Thursday), and Frigg (Friday). Talk about a divine upgrade!
- Monday’s name betrays its celestial origins. Derived from “Moon-day,” it harks back to the Roman system where days were named after celestial bodies. Interestingly, some languages like Portuguese and Italian still retain this lunar lineage, with Monday being “segunda-feira” (second fair) and “lunedì” respectively.
- Weekends: That coveted two-day respite we call the weekend is a relatively recent invention. For centuries, Sunday was solely reserved for religious observance, while Saturday hummed with market activity. It wasn’t until the 19th century, with the rise of industrialization and fixed work schedules, that the two-day break emerged as the beloved oasis we know today.
- Superstitions: Friday the 13th might grab all the headlines, but Saturday has its own share of spooky superstitions. In some cultures, it’s considered an unlucky day to start new ventures or travel, while others believe it’s the perfect time for exorcisms and banishing bad luck. Talk about keeping things interesting!
- Gloomy Mondays? Not everywhere!: While the “Blue Monday” blues might resonate with many, not everyone starts their week feeling down. In Spain, for example, Monday is “lunes,” which also means “moons,” injecting a touch of celestial wonder into the day, and in Hebrew, it’s “Yom Rishon,” simply meaning “First Day,” offering a clean slate perspective.
- Linguistic Lingo: The days of the week have woven themselves into the fabric of language. “Friday feeling” captures the anticipation of freedom, while “hump day” acknowledges the mid-week struggle. Proverbs like “Monday morning quarterback” and idioms like “seventh heaven” all draw inspiration from our seven-day cycle.
- A Global Tapestry: Travel the world and you’ll discover how the days of the week are translated and adapted to reflect local cultures. In Hindi, Wednesday is “Budhwar,” named after the planet Mercury, while in Arabic, Saturday is “al-Sabt,” mirroring the Sabbath tradition. These variations remind us that our seemingly universal schedule is a vibrant tapestry of diverse influences.
So, the next time you check your calendar or catch yourself humming a weekday anthem, remember—there’s more to those seven slots than meets the eye. They’re portals to history, mythology, and cultural quirks, each day a little chapter in the grand story of human timekeeping.
The Etymology of the Days of the Week in English
Have you ever stopped to ponder the intriguing origins and trivia associated with the days of the week in the English language? Each day holds its own unique history and significance, which contributes to the rich tapestry of the English language.
Sunday: A Day of the Sun
Sunday, known as the “day of the sun,” takes its name from the Old English word “Sunandæg.” This day has been associated with the Sun since ancient times, with many cultures celebrating it as a day of rest and worship.
Monday: Honoring the Moon
In contrast to Sunday, Monday pays homage to the Moon. Its name originates from the Old English word “Monandæg,” meaning “day of the moon.” The significance of the Moon in various cultures has woven a fascinating history around this day.
Tuesday: The God of War
Tuesday is derived from the Old English word “Tiwesdæg,” named after the Norse god Tyr, associated with war and courage. This day’s nomenclature reflects the influence of ancient mythology on the English language.
Wednesday: A Tribute to Odin
Wednesday owes its name to the Old English word “Wodnesdæg,” honoring the Norse god Odin. As the ruler of Asgard, Odin symbolized wisdom, magic, and poetry, adding a mythical dimension to the day.
Thursday: The Might of Thor
Thursday, derived from the Old English word “Þūnresdæg,” venerates the Norse god Thor, renowned for his strength and thunderous presence. The Norse influence ingrained within Thursday’s name showcases the cultural amalgamation behind the days of the week.
Friday: A Celebration of Frigg
Friday takes inspiration from the Old English word “Frīgedæg,” dedicated to the Norse goddess Frigg, associated with love and fertility. The confluence of ancient beliefs and linguistic evolution shapes the essence of Friday.
Saturday: Tied to Saturn
Lastly, Saturday’s name is linked to the Roman god Saturn, from the Old English word “Sæturnesdæg.” This day’s association with Saturn’s agricultural and temporal influence underscores the impact of ancient civilizations on the English language.
Global Debate: What really is the first day of the week?
The concept of a week has been ingrained in human societies for centuries, but have you ever stopped to question the origins of the seven-day week? The answer to what is the first day of the week lies in unraveling the intricacies of history, culture, and religious beliefs.
The debate surrounding the first day of the week sparks curiosity and discussion across different cultures and regions. In many countries, Sunday is considered the first day, while in others, it’s Monday. This global disparity adds to the perplexity of determining the true beginning of the week.
Cultural and religious influences play a significant role in shaping perceptions of the first day of the week. In Western cultures, Sunday is historically recognized as the Christian day of rest and worship, thus viewed as the week’s kickoff. Conversely, in many Middle Eastern and African countries, Monday holds the esteemed position of commencing the weekly cycle.
To standardize international date and time notations, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) introduced the ISO 8601 system, which designates Monday as the first day of the week. This standard has been widely adopted in various industries, contributing to the burstiness in the debate over the first day of the week.
Ultimately, the first day of the week remains an intriguing subject, influenced by historical, cultural, religious, and global standards. Whether Monday or Sunday holds the title of “first”, the significance of each day remains unaltered, as the week unfolds with infinite possibilities.
Translations of the Days of the Week in English for Specific Countries
The days of the week in English encapsulate a captivating blend of historical, mythological, and linguistic influences. By delving into the etymology and trivia associated with each day, we gain deeper insight into the cultural tapestry that underpins the English language.