Origin of weekday names in European languages

TitTornade

Senior Member
Moderator note: split off this thread.

Do French people see the connection between "lundi" and "lune" without being told about it? Like "month" and "moon" they have different vowel sounds, and the French for Sunday isn't derived from the word for "sun".
Hi,
I think the connections between the name of the days and the 6 planets/moon visible from the earth is not seen by French people... unless you learn it at school. I think it is now quite common to learn these connections at primary school :
Lune (Moon) -> lundi
Mars -> mardi
Mercure (Mercury) -> mercredi
Jupiter -> jeudi
Vénus (Venus) -> vendredi

Saturne (actually Sabbath...) -> samedi
Dimanche being the Lord's day ;)
 
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  • Walshie79

    Member
    English (British)
    Hi,
    I think the connections between the name of the days and the 6 planets/moon visible from the earth is not seen by French people... unless you learn it at school. I think it is now quite common to learn these connections at primary school :
    Lune (Moon) -> lundi
    Mars -> mardi
    Mercure (Mercury) -> mercredi
    Jupiter -> jeudi
    Vénus (Venus) -> vendredi

    Saturne (actually Sabbath...) -> samedi
    Dimanche being the Lord's day ;)
    "Samedi" and German "Samstag" are derived from "Sabbath" (not "Saturn"), but it's much less obvious than Spanish "Sabado". A late Latin form "Sabbat-", taken into both languages, changed to "Sambat-" and then "Samat-". English "Saturday" is from Saturn, as is Dutch "Zaterdag". When I first learnt French, I always connected "Vendredi" with "vendre", as though it meant "Sale day"!

    In Britain we are generally taught that the other days of the week are named after "Viking gods", but that's nonsense, they're actually named after Anglo-Saxon gods. "Wednesday" is from Old English Woden, not Norse Odin; and "Tuesday" is from OE Tiw, not Norse Tyr. While Thursday and Friday do look more like the Norse words, they can be quite regularly derived from "Thunresdaeg" and "Frigedaeg" which were their names in Old English.
     

    berndf

    Moderator
    German (Germany)
    In Britain we are generally taught that the other days of the week are named after "Viking gods", but that's nonsense, they're actually named after Anglo-Saxon gods. "Wednesday" is from Old English Woden, not Norse Odin; and "Tuesday" is from OE Tiw, not Norse Tyr. While Thursday and Friday do look more like the Norse words, they can be quite regularly derived from "Thunresdaeg" and "Frigedaeg" which were their names in Old English.
    While I entirely agree with you, it should still be noted that there is no material difference: These names are names of common Germanic gods, not specifically Anglo-Saxon or Norse ones. E.g., Woden and Odin are the same name; just the initial /w/ fell off in Old Norse. Also Tiw/Tiu (High German Ziu, still preserved in the Swiss German word for Tuesday: Zischtig) is the same god as Tyr. By the way, this word originally meant god in general and not a specific one and if cognate to Latin deus and Greek Ζεύς.
     

    berndf

    Moderator
    German (Germany)
    The Latin names are based on the planets' names. But the Germanic names seem to take their association from the gods and not the planets.
     

    apmoy70

    Senior Member
    Greek
    In Modern Greek, the weekday names don't have any link whatsoever, with the names of the planets:
    Sunday-->«Κυῥιακὴ [ἡμέῥα]» (Kŭrhĭā'kē [hē'mĕrhă is omitted], Ciriaci [i'mera] in modern Greek pronunciation); Lord's day.
    Monday-->«Δευτέῥα» (Deu'tĕrhă, ðef'tera in modern pronunciation); Second (day is omitted).
    Tuesday-->«Τῥίτη» ('Trhītē, 'Triti in modern Greek); Third.
    Wednesday-->«Τετάῥτη» (Tĕ'tārhtē, Te'tarti in modern language); Fourth.
    Thursday-->«Πέμπτη» ('Pĕmptē, 'Pempti in modern pronunciation); Fifth.
    Friday-->«Παῥασκευή» (Părhăskeu'ē, Parasce'vi in modern Greek pronunciation); Day of Preparation (i.e. preparation of Sabbath). In early Christian era, this day in the Greek world was named «Πῥοσάββατον» (Prhŏ'săbbātŏn), the Pre-Sabbath day.
    Saturday-->«Σάββατον» ('Săbbātŏn, 'Savato in modern Greek); Sabbath.
    In Ancient Greek on the other hand, the weekday names were after the god they were dedicated to (which nowadays correspond to the names of the planets):
    Sunday-->«Ἡλιάς» (Hēlī'ās), the Sun's day.
    Monday-->«Σεληνιάς» (Sĕlēnī'ās), the Moon's day.
    Tuesday-->«Ἀῥηάς» (Arhē'ās), the Mars' day.
    Wednesday-->«Ἑῥμειάς» (Hĕrhmei'ās), the Mercury's day.
    Thursday-->«Διάς» (Dī'ās), the Jupiter's day.
    Friday-->«Ἀφῥοδισιάς» (Apʰrhŏdīsī'ās), the Venus' day.
    Saturday-->«Κῥονιάς» (Krhŏnī'ās), the Saturn's day.
     

    TitTornade

    Senior Member
    "Samedi" and German "Samstag" are derived from "Sabbath" (not "Saturn"), but it's much less obvious than Spanish "Sabado". A late Latin form "Sabbat-", taken into both languages, changed to "Sambat-" and then "Samat-". English "Saturday" is from Saturn, as is Dutch "Zaterdag".
    Of course, you are right.

    Quelques précisions issues du CNRTL (http://www.cnrtl.fr/definition/samedi), si tu lis le français :
    D'un lat. pop. *sambati dies (prob. diffusé à partir de milieux chrétiens hellénisants tels que Lyon et Trèves, d'où aussi l'all. du sud Samstag), comp. de dies « jour » et sambati, génitif d'un *sambatum, empr. au gr. σάμβατον, var. de σάββατον (sabbat*) att. au ive s. sous la forme Σαμβαθώ (cf. M. Pfister, Einf. in die romanische Etymologie, p. 80). Au ive s., sous l'infl. du christianisme, *sambati dies s'est substitué à l'anc. dies Saturni « jour de Saturne » (de même que dies dominicus « jour du Seigneur, dimanche » à dies solis « jour du soleil ») dont les représentants survivent en angl. Saturday, en néerl. zaterdag, dans les dial. du nord-ouest de l'Allemagne Sater(s)tag ainsi qu'en bret. disadorn et dans les lang. celt. (Pfister, op. cit., pp. 78-84). La forme sethmedi (de même que semedi) est prob. due à l'infl. de l'a. fr. setme, seme « septième » (< lat. septimus).

    When I first learnt French, I always connected "Vendredi" with "vendre", as though it meant "Sale day"!

    Funny connection. As a French, I never noticed that it could have such a connection between "vendre" and "vendredi"... yet, it is very evident...
     

    berndf

    Moderator
    German (Germany)
    Funny connection. As a French, I never noticed that it could have such a connection between "vendre" and "vendredi"... yet, it is very evident...
    I guess every foreigner is tempted to make this connection (like myself). By the way, we also associate Jeudi with jeu (game), do you?
     

    artion

    Senior Member
    Greek
    The japanese also adopted (translated to japanese) the names for Monday and Sunday. The other days are associated with the elements of Fire (Tuesd.), Water (Wedn.), Wood (Thursd.), Metal (Frid.), Earth (Sat.). But they believe in the following associations with the planets: Mars-Fire, Mercury-Water, Jupiter-Wood, Venus-Metal, Saturn-Earth.

    This westernizations of days names happened in 19th c. I think.
     

    artion

    Senior Member
    Greek
    In Modern Greek, the weekday names don't have any link whatsoever, with the names of the planets:
    Sunday--> Lord's day.
    Monday--> Second (day).
    Tuesday-->Third.
    Wednesday--> Fourth.
    Thursday--> Fifth.
    Friday-->« Day of Preparation (i.e. preparation of Sabbath).

    Saturday-->«Σάββατον» ('Săbbātŏn, 'Savato in modern Greek); Sabbath.
    This reminds us of that thread on the possible connection between the words Sabbath and Seven.
     

    berndf

    Moderator
    German (Germany)
    Now I'm thinking about the other names of day in french : did you connect "dimanche" with a "manche" or "mercredi" with "mer" ?
    No. Since it is obvious that -di means -day, it is natural to analyse jeudi and vendredi as jeu-di and vendre-di but it is much less obvious to analyse dimanche as di-manche or mercredi as mer-credi. Besides, for me as a German, the association of mercredi and mer is blocked because of the different vowel lengths.
     

    Mephistofeles

    Senior Member
    Mexican Spanish
    Spanish case is quite similar to the apmoy's explanation.

    Lunes - Luna (Moon)
    Martes - Marte (Mars)
    Miércoles - Mercurio (Mercury)
    Jueves - Júpiter (Jupiter)
    Viernes - Venus (should I...?)
    Sábado - Sabbath
    Domingo - Domini (Lord's day)
     

    Maroseika

    Moderator
    Russian
    Russian:

    Monday - понедельник - lit. 'next after Sunday'. Old Russian name for Sunday was неделя which now means 'week' and literally - 'no job' (cf. Latin feria and feria secunda)
    Tuesday - вторник (second)
    Wednesday - среда (middle) (calque of German mittawëcha, cf. Mittwoch)
    Thursday - четверг (fourth)
    Friday - пятница (fifth)
    Saturday - суббота (< *σάμβατον)
    Sunday - воскресенье (resurrection)
     
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    Outsider

    Senior Member
    Portuguese (Portugal)
    [...] it is much less obvious to analyse dimanche as di-manche or mercredi as mer-credi.
    Did you mean mercre-di?

    Besides, for me as a German, the association of mercredi and mer is blocked because of the different vowel lengths.
    So you hear a difference in length between the vowels in mercredi and mer? That's interesting! Which one is long?

    The Latin names are based on the planets' names. But the Germanic names seem to take their association from the gods and not the planets.
    How can we tell the difference? Weren't the names of the planets the same as the names of the gods?
     
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    Maroseika

    Moderator
    Russian
    Ossetian

    Monday - къуырисæр (head of a week)
    Tuesday - дыццæг (second)
    Wednesday - æртыццæг (third)
    Thursday - цыппæрæм (fourth)
    Friday - майрæмбон - day of Mariam (< Virgin Mary). This is pre-Christian tradition, cf. Latin dies Veneris, German Freitag (Freia).
    Saturday - сабат (< *σάμβατον)
    Sunday - хуыцаубон (day of God)

    Week - къуыр < Georgian kvira < Greek κυριακή (day of God).
     

    CapnPrep

    Senior Member
    AmE
    Besides, for me as a German, the association of mercredi and mer is blocked because of the different vowel lengths.
    Do you also have difficulty associating Mer du Nord or Mer Égée and mer because of the different vowel lengths? As a German you should be able to cope with interactions between stress and vowel length… ;)

    For a French speaker, the first syllable of mercredi sounds just like like mer, but this association is blocked because it doesn't make any sense. More generally, it is not obvious that "-di means -day", so it would not occur to the average speaker to decompose the names of the days of the week in French, except as a conscious play on words (e.g. Jeudi je dis jeux).
     

    berndf

    Moderator
    German (Germany)
    Do you also have difficulty associating Mer du Nord or Mer Égée and mer because of the different vowel lengths? As a German you should be able to cope with interactions between stress and vowel length… ;)
    I don't think, we were talking of that. Intuitive associations don't work that way. Of course, the /ɛ/ in Mer du Nord is different for that in mer alone but I wouldn't be thinking of that when comparing mercredi and mer. -- Except if I had reason to think of a mer cre.

    For a French speaker,...
    Sure, the association of a French speaker works differently. Otherwise we wouldn't be having this discussion.
     

    Ihsiin

    Senior Member
    English
    How can we tell the difference? Weren't the names of the planets the same as the names of the gods?
    I believe that, while in the Roman tradition gods were associated with celestial bodies and the planet-gods gave their names to the days of the week (a tradition originating in Mesopotamia), this is association did not exist in the Germanic tradition (I'm no expert on this, however, please correct me if I'm wrong). Therefore, the days of the week English and other Germanic languages came to be named after the Germanic analogue of the Greco-Roman deities:

    Sunday and Monday are fairly obvious translations of "dies solis" and "dies lunae" respectively.
    Tuesday is after Tiw, the god of war, to compare with Mars.
    Wednesday after Woden, psycho-pomp, to compare with Mercury.
    Thursday after Thunor, god of thunder, to compare with Jupiter (that is to say, Jove).
    Friday after Frige, goddess of love (at a stretch), to compare with Venus.
    And Saturday, well, they ran out of analogue deities so they just kept it as Saturn's day.
     

    Ben Jamin

    Senior Member
    Polish
    Sunday-->«Κυῥιακὴ [ἡμέῥα]» (Kŭrhĭā'kē [hē'mĕrhă is omitted], Ciriaci [i'mera] in modern Greek pronunciation); Lord's day.
    Monday-->«Δευτέῥα» (Deu'tĕrhă, ðef'tera in modern pronunciation); Second (day is omitted).
    Tuesday-->«Τῥίτη» ('Trhītē, 'Triti in modern Greek); Third.
    Wednesday-->«Τετάῥτη» (Tĕ'tārhtē, Te'tarti in modern language); Fourth.
    Thursday-->«Πέμπτη» ('Pĕmptē, 'Pempti in modern pronunciation); Fifth.
    Friday-->«Παῥασκευή» (Părhăskeu'ē, Paraske'vi in modern Greek pronunciation); Day of Preparation (i.e. preparation of Sabbath).
    In early Christian era, this day in the Greek world was named
    This Chistian system has been attempted made obligatory also in the Western Roman Empire, but was finally adapted in its pure form only in Portuguese. The most striking difference from the Greek system is that Friday is called sixth day).

    In the Slavic languages the Christian system is modified. Monday is the first day, and Sunday the seventh. The name for Monday means 'the day after Sunday' and for Wednesday (third day) has been replaced by a name meaning "the middle of the week" (środa in Polish, sreda in Russian). German did the same with Wednesday (Mittwoch), but kept the old Germanic gods for the other days. Finninsh has the same system as German, with Wednesday being called Keskiviikko. Sunday in the Slavic languages (except Russian) is called 'a day of doing nothing' (nedela, nedelja, niedziela). In Russian it is called 'voskresyeniye' (resurrection).
    Calling Wedensdy the middle of the week is also quite inconsistent with the numbering of the other days.
     
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    effeundici

    Senior Member
    Italian - Tuscany
    Serbian:

    Nedelja : it means week but Sunday too
    Ponedeljak : after Sunday, I guess
    Utorak : Tuesday; I don't know
    Sreda : Wednesday medium, in the middle
    Cetvrtak : Thursday, the fourth (cetiri means four)
    Petak : Friday the fifth, pet means five
    Subota: It seems the same as all other languages

    I'm not Serbian; maybe I made some mistakes
     

    koniecswiata

    Senior Member
    Am English
    The whole system of gods/planets that we find in English, French, Spanish, Old Greek, etc... has its origin in Mesopotamia. Apparently, since they invented the 7 day week system, they also asigned gods and planets to these gods to these days. So Monday was for the moon, Sunday for the sun, etc... This was then just calqued into Greek, then Latin, then Germanic languages, and possibly other languages in Europe.
    With Christianity, an attempt was made at eliminating this system, to replace it with a...possibly "blander" number day system (1st day, 2nd day, midweek, etc...). This worked in the case of Portuguese, Greek, and Slavic languages--also German in the case of Wednesday.
     

    berndf

    Moderator
    German (Germany)
    With Christianity, an attempt was made at eliminating this system, to replace it with a...possibly "blander" number day system (1st day, 2nd day, midweek, etc...). This worked in the case of Portuguese, Greek, and Slavic languages--also German in the case of Wednesday.
    Well, the Christian Greek system
    Sunday-->«Κυῥιακὴ [ἡμέῥα]» (Kŭrhĭā'kē [hē'mĕrhă is omitted], Ciriaci [i'mera] in modern Greek pronunciation); Lord's day.
    Monday-->«Δευτέῥα» (Deu'tĕrhă, ðef'tera in modern pronunciation); Second (day is omitted).
    Tuesday-->«Τῥίτη» ('Trhītē, 'Triti in modern Greek); Third.
    Wednesday-->«Τετάῥτη» (Tĕ'tārhtē, Te'tarti in modern language); Fourth.
    Thursday-->«Πέμπτη» ('Pĕmptē, 'Pempti in modern pronunciation); Fifth.
    Friday-->«Παῥασκευή» (Părhăskeu'ē, Parasce'vi in modern Greek pronunciation); Day of Preparation (i.e. preparation of Sabbath).
    is taken from Jewish tradition and is not at all a Christian invention as an "elimination" of the old system. The differences to the Hebrew system of weekday names are Friday and Sunday. The Hebrew word for Friday is יום שישי (yom sheeshee = sixth day). The Greek name (Παῥασκευή) was used by Hellenistic Jews (like St. Paul); it isn't a Christian invention either.

    Only the name for Sunday is obviously a Christan change which doesn't need any explanation; in Hebrew it is יום ראשון (yom reeshon = first day).
     

    koniecswiata

    Senior Member
    Am English
    Yes, the Christian system may have been based on the Hebrew, but there was a movement in the Church in the early Middle Ages to eliminate vestiges of paganism when possible--of course it was probably done haphazardly. The attempt to get rid of the Roman/Greek/German/etc... system (actually Mesopotamian) was part of that drive to eliminate these vestiges, or repackage them whenever possible (Saints instead of local gods, etc...). Obviously Christianity is an "offshoot" of Judaism--so the connection with Hebrew is quite self-evident.
     

    berndf

    Moderator
    German (Germany)
    The attempt to get rid of the Roman/Greek/German/etc... system (actually Mesopotamian) was part of that drive to eliminate these vestiges, or repackage them whenever possible (Saints instead of local gods, etc...).
    Really? The Greek system of planet names as weekday names isn't attested before the late 2nd century A.D., i.e. is younger than the Hebrew/Christian one. Do you know any sources which show that weekdays where named by planet names in Sumerian, Akkadian or Aramaic? I don't. To my knowledge, the Babylonians also numbered the days from where the Hebrew names are derived.
     

    koniecswiata

    Senior Member
    Am English
    I read a book a few years ago about the topic. I don't have it lying in front of me. It was published in Poland in the mid/late 90s. It was a book called something like "Comparisons of weekday names in IndoEuropean languages." I will try to remember to reference it in a next post. The book clearly stated that the weekday names wer e based on Babylonian cosmogeny.
     

    berndf

    Moderator
    German (Germany)
    The book clearly stated that the weekday names wer e based on Babylonian cosmogeny.
    Yes, that is an explanation you read everywhere. But this is an modern connection of Babylonian astrology and Hellenistic weekday names. I nowhere read that the Babylonians themselves ever connected planets and weekday names.

    But if you find the book, keep me posted. Maybe it is just my ignorance and there was a link.
     

    Ben Jamin

    Senior Member
    Polish
    Serbian:

    Nedelja : "no work day"
    Ponedeljak : the day after Synday
    Utorak : second day of the week
    Sreda : middle of the week
    Cetvrtak : the fourth day of the week
    Petak : the fifth day of the week
    Subota: from Sabbat
     

    Ben Jamin

    Senior Member
    Polish
    Really? The Greek system of planet names as weekday names isn't attested before the late 2nd century A.D., i.e. is younger than the Hebrew/Christian one. Do you know any sources which show that weekdays where named by planet names in Sumerian, Akkadian or Aramaic? I don't. To my knowledge, the Babylonians also numbered the days from where the Hebrew names are derived.
    Was there a Christian system of week names older than from the times of Constantine the Great?
     

    Ben Jamin

    Senior Member
    Polish
    Well, the Christian Greek systemis taken from Jewish tradition and is not at all a Christian invention as an "elimination" of the old system. The differences to the Hebrew system of weekday names are Friday and Sunday. The Hebrew word for Friday is יום שישי (yom sheeshee = sixth day). The Greek name (Παῥασκευή) was used by Hellenistic Jews (like St. Paul); it isn't a Christian invention either.

    Only the name for Sunday is obviously a Christan change which doesn't need any explanation; in Hebrew it is יום ראשון (yom reeshon = first day).
    Here is an excerpt form French Wikipedia:

    En Occident, l'emploi du découpage en semaines date seulement du IIIe siècle. L'adoption du dimanche chrétien comme jour de repos, a été institué pour se différencier des juifs, et officialisé par un décret de l'empereur Constantin Ier en 321[7],[8].
    Des tentatives de suppression des références aux divinités antiques par le pape Sylvestre Ier à l'époque de Constantin sont avérées ; il proposa de ne garder que le dimanche (en latin "dies Dominicus" signifiant jour du Seigneur) et le samedi (sabbat) puis de numéroter les jours (feria prima, feria secunda...)[3]. La réforme échoua mais fut reprise à son compte par l'évêque de Braga au Portugal au VIe siècle qui déplorait que les jours étaient consacrés à des divinités païennes[9]. Ultérieurement, les autorités ecclésiastiques proposèrent la nomenclature suivante : « jour de la lumière » (Luminis dies) pour lundi, « jour des martyrs » (Martyrium dies) pour mardi, « jour de l'Église immaculée » (Merae ecclesiae dies) pour mercredi, "jour du saint sacrement" (Jesus dies) pour jeudi, « jour de la passion » (Veneranda dies) pour vendredi, « jour du sabbat » (sabbato dies) pour samedi et bien sûr « jour du seigneur » (dominica dies) pour le dimanche. La réforme n'eut pas plus de succès. Mais le « jour du seigneur » (dimanche) réussit à se substituer au « jour du soleil » dans quelques régions européennes[10].

    If this is correct then the "correction" is real, the Christian system was meant to supplant the Roman pagan system, but succeeded only in Portugal and Slavic countries (which never had had own names for the week days).
     

    artion

    Senior Member
    Greek
    Only the name for Sunday is obviously a Christan change which doesn't need any explanation; in Hebrew it is ...
    Not exactly. The Sunday was called so before Christianism. Martyr Justinus (114-165 AD) in his 2nd Apology says that "Jesus was crucified before Sabbath, which was the Saturn day, and the next day that was the Sun (Helios, Sol) day and renamed Kyriake, was resurrected ...".
     

    berndf

    Moderator
    German (Germany)
    Was there a Christian system of week names older than from the times of Constantine the Great?
    What I meant is that the early Christians used the weekday names as used by Hellenistic Jews, with the addition of the new name for Sunday. And that is to my knowledge older than the pagan Hellenistic system. Again, it might be my ignorance. If someone could show me a pre-Hellenistic source (Sumerian, Akkadian, Aramaic, Persian, Greek or whatever) using god and/planet names as names of weekdays, I should be most interested.


    If this is correct then the "correction" is real, the Christian system was meant to supplant the Roman pagan system, but succeeded only in Portugal and Slavic countries (which never had had own names for the week days).
    No disagreement what so ever. What I am skeptical about is the claim that the pagan Hellenistic system of weekday names is derived from a Mesopotamian source. I agree that the concept of a seven-day week as such comes from there but not the names of the weekdays. My contention is that they were an invention of Hellenistic astrology.


    Not exactly. The Sunday was called so before Christianism. Martyr Justinus (114-165 AD) in his 2nd Apology says that "Jesus was crucified before Sabbath, which was the Saturn day, and the next day that was the Sun (Helios, Sol) day and renamed Kyriake, was resurrected ...".
    I don't quite understand. What you are quoting there is a Christian source.
     

    TitTornade

    Senior Member
    What I meant is that the early Christians used the weekday names as used by Hellenistic Jews, with the addition of the new name for Sunday. And that is to my knowledge older than the pagan Hellenistic system. Again, it might be my ignorance. If someone could show me a pre-Hellenistic source (Sumerian, Akkadian, Aramaic, Persian, Greek or whatever) using god and/planet names as names of weekdays, I should be most interested.

    No disagreement what so ever. What I am skeptical about is the claim that the pagan Hellenistic system of weekday names is derived from a Mesopotamian source. I agree that the concept of a seven-day week as such comes from there but not the names of the weekdays. My contention is that they were an invention of Hellenistic astrology.

    I don't quite understand. What you are quoting there is a Christian source.
    Hi,
    If I can speculate :
    Since the humans are present on Earth (and, of course, since the creation of the solar system), it exists 7 special "stars" in the sky that moves very differently from the others and that are easily visible by looking at the sky. These "stars" are: the Sun, the Moon, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, and Saturn. Besides, 7 days is approximately a quarter of a moon cycle.

    I guess the humans observed these astronomical phenomenons a long time before inventing to write and then it early belonged to their religion... I can speculate that days dedicated to Gods (i.e. planets) and the weeks of 7 days are older than any trace of texts... ;) :p
     

    Orlin

    Banned
    български
    Serbian:

    Nedelja, BG неделя : "no work day"
    Ponedeljak, BG понеделник: the day after Synday
    Utorak, BG вторник: second day of the week
    Sreda, BG сряда: middle of the week
    Četvrtak, BG четвъртък: the fourth day of the week
    Petak, BG петък: the fifth day of the week
    Subota, BG събота: from Sabbat
    Same for Bulgarian.
     

    Arrius

    Senior Member
    English, UK
    Portuguese shares sabado and domingo with some other languages but the remaining days of the week are indicated by ordinal numerals: segunda-feira (Monday) followed by terça/quarta/quinta/ sexta feira. The system is taken from Arabic, in which ilyoom al aHad=day one, i.e. Sunday), and Friday (ilyoom al juma3 = day of the congregation) is the holy day of Islam. ilyoom assabt, literally the seventh day, a cognate of sabbath and sabado, contains the Arabic word for seven.
     

    Outsider

    Senior Member
    Portuguese (Portugal)
    Than it's strange that the word spread so far as to Russia, across the religious border between West and East.
    At the time, the East-West religious border was much less pronounced. I guess this is a trace of the influential German expansion into Eastern Europe in the Middle Ages.

    Portuguese shares sabado and domingo with some other languages but the remaining days of the week are indicated by ordinal numerals: segunda-feira (Monday) followed by terça/quarta/quinta/ sexta feira. The system is taken from Arabic, in which ilyoom al aHad=day one, i.e. Sunday), and Friday (ilyoom al juma3 = day of the congregation) is the holy day of Islam. ilyoom assabt, literally the seventh day, a cognate of sabbath and sabado, contains the Arabic word for seven.
    It's not from Arabic. See the previous pages of this thread.
     

    Arrius

    Senior Member
    English, UK
    It's not from Arabic. See the previous pages of this thread. Outsider
    OK, if you say so - I suppose you mean the system of naming the days numerically.
     

    Ben Jamin

    Senior Member
    Polish
    At the time, the East-West religious border was much less pronounced. I guess this is a trace of the influential German expansion into Eastern Europe in the Middle Ages.
    Not a direct one.
    German missionaries did not penetrate Russia, it was christened by Byzantine missionaries. The trade was little developed at that time (Xth century), and colonization nonexistent until Catherine II.

    The calque word for Mittwoch must have been imported through other Slavic languages.
     
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