Thor's Day



Fictitious calendar app with pagan icons

The other day my girlfriend, Kristina, welcomed me with a giddy 'Thor's Day.' She got the idea from the comic book movie Thor. In the movie, they talk about how the English names of the weekdays (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, etc) are largely based off of Norse gods. Knowing this, I got curious about the etymological backgrounds of the other days of the week. My research is as follows:

Etymology of Week Day Names

  • Sunday icon


    Germanic: Sun's Day
    Roman: Sun's Day or Lord's Day
    Korean: Sun Day

    It's kind of funny that Sunday is the day to celebrate the sun in all the etymologies I saw. The only variant was the Christians not wanting to celebrate the sun and calling it the Lord's day.

  • Monday icon


    Germanic: Moon's Day
    Roman: Moon's Day
    Korean: Moon Day

    Monday is the other day that seems to celebrate the same thing across cultures. Monday is always named after the moon or a moon god.

  • Tuesday icon


    Germanic: Týr's Day
    Roman: Mars' Day
    Korean: Fire Day

    Tuesday was named after the Norse sky god, Týr. The Germanic languages probably named this day after the single-handed god because his war-like attributes were most similar to the Roman god, Mars. I then appreciate how the East Asian week uses fire to represent this fighting day.

  • Wednesday icon


    Germanic: Odin's Day
    Roman: Mercury's Day
    Korean: Water Day

    Wednesday is named after the Norse god Odin, or Wodan. This is actually strange because there isn't much connection between Odin, leader of the Norse gods, and the Roman messenger god, Mercury. Wikipedia thinks the explanation might be that both gods led souls and were associated with poetic and musical inspiration.

  • Thursday icon


    Germanic: Thor's Day
    Roman: Jupiter's Day
    Korean: Wood Day

    The connection between the Norse god of thunder, Thor and Jupiter, the Roman god of heaven and earth is that they both weild lightning and thunder to battle. Too bad that the East Asian Thursday doesn't share the same connection. Its instead representative by wood.

  • Friday icon


    Germanic: Frigg's Day
    Roman: Venus' Day
    Korean: Metal Day

    Friday was to celebrate the Norse god queen, Frigg. Her rule over love and beauty made her an ample candidate to replace the Roman goddess, Venus. Learning this, I will forever think of Friday as the feminine day and Tuesday as the masculine day.

  • Saturday icon


    Germanic: Saturn's Day
    Roman: Saturn's Day
    Korean: Earth Day
    Scandinavian: Washing Day

    Saturday makes me think that the Germans got to the last day of naming and then quit. Instead of finding one of their own gods to replace the Roman god of agriculture, Saturn, they just kept it. They could have easily used Freyr, the Norse god of sacral kingship, virility and prosperity, sunshine and fair weather, and fertility. Maybe they just wanted two 'S' days instead of two 'F' days. I can at least appreciate my Scandinavian roots because they went off the German path and renamed the day 'washing day.'



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