Posted by: Jack Henry | August 16, 2022

Editor’s Corner: I Don’t Like Mondays

Good morning, all!

Today I’m going to cover the day of the week Monday. During my last email, I made a chart for all of us to have a look at the names of the week in English, Greek, and the top five Romance languages. Here it is as a reminder:

English Greek Spanish French Italian Romanian Portuguese
Sunday Κυριακή

Kyriakí

Domingo Dimanche Domenica Duminică Domingo
Monday Δευτέρα

Deftéra

Lunes Lundi Lunedi Luni Segunda-Feira
Tuesday Τρίτη

Tríti

Martes Mardi Martedì Marţi Terça-Feira
Wednesday
Τετάρτη
Tetárti
Miércoles Mercredi Mercoledì Miercuri Quarta-Feira
Thursday
Πέμπτη
Pémpti
Jueves Jeudi Giovedì Joi Quinta-Feira
Friday
Παρασκευή
Paraskeví
Viernes Vendredit Venerdì Vineri Sexta-Feira
Saturday
Σάββατο
Sávvato
Sábado Samedi Sabato Sâmbătă Sábado

While Sunday was named after the sun (and later renamed in romance languages and Greek to refer to “The Lord’s Day,”) Monday was named after the moon, and despite Christianity, has maintained its name “moon’s day” in all languages on our list, except Greek and Portuguese. Some additional details from Dictionary.com:

The English name for Monday comes from the Anglo-Saxon word Mōnandæg, which loosely means “the moon’s day.” Mōna is the word for moon in Old English.

The second day of the week has been classified as the moon’s day since Babylonian times. The Babylonians were the ones who decided on a seven-day week, and they named five of the days for planets, and one each for the sun and for the moon.

Ancient Romans followed the same pattern, though they technically thought they were naming every day after a planet, since the Romans thought that the sun and moon were planets in their own right. For the Romans, every planet had an associated god or goddess, and Luna was the goddess that personified the moon.

You can see the Ancient Roman influence in the name for Monday in Latin (dies lunae, or “day of the moon”) and the romance languages [KC – See the table above.]

Germanic and Nordic-speaking people took after the Romans when it came to days of the week, but they changed the names to match their own planetary gods. In Norse mythology, the moon was guided by the god Mani, who pulled the moon across the sky via chariot after his sister, the goddess Sol, pulled the sun across the sky.

While the ancient Greek translated term for Monday was also “day of the moon”, it was later changed to mean essentially, “second day of the week.” The Portuguese similarly skip the day of the moon, and their day is translated as the “second ‘rest day’ of the week.”

Because it is the beginning of our work week (not a “rest day”) I think Monday gets a bad rap. I can think of several songs about it, but when I looked them up, I found even more than expected. Here are just a few:

  • Manic Monday
  • Rainy Days and Mondays
  • I Don’t Like Mondays
  • Blue Monday
  • Call it Stormy Monday
  • Rainy Monday
  • Blue Monday
  • Gloomy Monday Morning

I hope you have a better day than those songwriters!

Kara Church | Technical Editor, Advisory | Technical Publications

Pronouns: she/her | (619) 542-6773 | jackhenry.com

Editor’s Corner Archives: https://episystechpubs.com/


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Categories

%d bloggers like this: