How Did The Names of the Days of the Week Come To Be?

The names of the days of the week came to us from the mythological gods of Ancient Rome. It was the Romans who were the first to begin their days at midnight, while the ancient Babylonians began theirs at sunrise and the ancient Jews, at sunset.

Sunday was named because it was the day sacred to the sun.

Monday was named because it was sacred to the moon.

Tuesday was named after Tiw, a god of war.

Wednesday was named after Woden, the leader of the gods.

Thursday was named after Thor, the god of thunder.

Friday was named after Frigge, the wife of Woden.

Saturday was named after Saturn, the god of crops and harvest.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

7 thoughts on “How Did The Names of the Days of the Week Come To Be?”

  1. I hate to change the setting here but I have been studying the greek, Roman, Normanic, and Egyptian gods for many a years being that I am Wiccan it just is part of the deal in learning about other gods plus I am in to Runes…so to correct the post here…its not all Roman gods most are Normanic (Viking) gods not Roman or greek.

  2. Not sure what the days are in Latin, but the days of the week in Italian are not even close to how we spell them in English. Since these gods have similar spellings to our English, the Normanic post may have a point.

  3. Thanks for pointing the Normanic out.
    Thor was reponsible for tuesday and thursday (Thor’s day). Freia, god of love, was Friday. Oden, king of the gods was Wednesday. Those are the ones I know from norse history. Greek gods were responsible for the months. Augustus, Julius, etc.

  4. Well for someone to say definitively that they know the origins of day names is simply arrogant. All any one can do is reasearch it and come up with a probability. I can find about 10 other reffrences/books/websites that disagree or have slight changes with every post above me.

  5. i was referred here by someone due to an argument based on what is written here.

    let me set this straight, please

    in english, the days of the week are named after nordic gods (correctly pointed out) with the exception of saturday.
    in french the days of the week are latin (roman)

    in english the months of the year are latin (roman) not greek. yes, the romans gods typically (but not always) did come from the greek but in this instance the naming is due to the romans, not the greeks.

    so the next question would be, why are the days of the week named after nordic god, and the months after roman gods…

    the answer not as obvious at first glance. it is because the romans had a six day week, with one being a market day. however, when rome under constatine converted to christianity, they adopted the christian method of seven days, including the sabbath.

    additionally, until the adoption of the gregorian calendar which we now use, it was the julian calendar that was used in the roman world, invented by julias caesar

    there are many other aspects of time, such as periods of the day that derive from the latin too but that will extend this thread too far.

    happy learning


  6. Named after nordic or germanic gods not roman. The planets are named after the roman gods. why we have roman months and nordic days.

Leave a Comment