THE BEST OF THE BLOG – PLANETS

THE PLANETS AND THE DAYS OF THE WEEK

Caro Speak Up,
complimenti per la rivista, soprattutto per rubrica Anglopolis che mi permette di scoprire l’origine e il significato di molte parole ed espressioni inglesi. L’ultimo articolo sulla Luna mi ha fatto riflettere sulla parola Monday (lunedì) e mi chiedo se faccia riferimento a Moon. Se così, che succede con il resto dei giorni della settimana? In italiano martedì viene dal pianeta e dio romano Marte; mercoledì da Mercurio, e così via. Ma in inglese non vedo questa corrispondenza… Potete aiutarmi?
Grazie mille,
Martina

Dear Martina,
The Moon has always had a huge influence over the English language and often appears in relation to expressions of time. In fact, although the months of the year do not coincide with the cycles of the Moon, it is where the word ‘month’ came from. To answer your question: yes, Monday means ‘Moonday’, just as the first day of the week is ‘lunar-based in Romance languages, e.g. lunedì, lunes, etc. However, most of the days of the week in English are an adaptation of the Roman tradition but derived from Anglo-Saxon names for gods in Germanic mythology. Therefore, Tuesday comes from Tiu, the Anglo-Saxon god of war, just like Mars; Wednesday is named after Woden, the equivalent of the Roman god Mercury; Thursday originates from Thor, the god of thunder;  and Friday is derived from Frigga, the wife of Odin, representing love and beauty. Finally, we get to the weekend: English retained the Roman name for this day, which comes from Saturn’s day, while, of course, Sunday is named after the Sun. Thanks for your question,
Speak Up

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