market day

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Great Expectations
Mrs. Joe made occasional trips with Uncle Pumblechook on market-days, to assist him in buying such household stuffs and goods as required a woman's judgment; Uncle Pumblechook being a bachelor and reposing no confidences in his domestic servant. This was market-day, and Mrs. Joe was out on one of these expeditions.

I'm having difficulty understanding the use of market-day. Why is it not a market-day or the market day?
 
  • london calling

    Senior Member
    UK English
    Maybe it was written with a hyphen in Charles Dickens' day. I certainly don't write it with a hyphen. And we use it without the article because it's similar to Monday, Tuesday, etc.
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    I agree with london calling's remarks about the hyphen.

    It is market day for the same reason it is not "a Christmas Day" or "the Easter Day". "Market day" is the title of the day during the week upon which a market is held. In my town, market day is Wednesday.
     
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