Monday's child is fair of face Tuesday's child is full of grace Wednesday's child is full of woe Thursday's child has far to go Friday's child is loving and giving Saturday's child works hard for a living And the child that's born on the Sabbath day Is fair and wise and good and gay
In many traditions, for a very long time, a handy shortcut to giving a child a Meaningful Name
has been to name that child after one of the days of the week.
This is useful because each weekday has an array of meanings. Many European languages derive their names from the Roman practice of naming them after the Roman gods
, either by adopting the Roman names or by substituting them with similar local gods (e.g. Germanic gods
). From the original Latin, we have Monday as "Dies Lunae", Moon's day, Tuesday is "Dies Martis", Mars' day, Wednesday is "Dies Mercurii", Mercury's day, Thursday is "Dies Iovis", Jupiter's day, Friday is "Dies Veneris", Venus' day, Saturday is "Dies Saturni", Saturn's day, and Sunday, "Dies Solis", which is...sun day.
This is easier to remember in Latinate languages. The days of the week in French, for example, are Lundi, Mardi, Mercredi, Jeudi, Vendredi, Samedi and Dimanche
. In Spanish, those days are Lunes, Martes, Miercoles, Jueves, Viernes, Sabado, and Domingo.
From the Germanic languages, we have Sunday as The Sun's day (Sunna), Monday as Moon day (Máni), Tuesday as Týr's day, Wednesday as Wotan's
/Óđin's day, Thursday as Ţór's day, and Friday as Freyja's day; in English, Saturday is unique in having a Latin-derived name, elsewhere it is bathing or pool day (Laugardagr). Hooray!
This pagan-based naming has ticked off the Catholic Church, so some countries with lots of Catholic influence will have boring names, based on what prayers should be done. Or even more mind-numbingly uninventive: long ago in Iceland, Catholic bishop renamed Tuesday to "third day", Wednesday to "middle week day", Thursday to "fifth day" and Friday to "fasting day." The Quakers also used numbers for days of the week instead of honoring Pagan deities (Sunday was the first day, etc).
So, anyway, naming a character in this way is a good way to connect him to some of these previously described figures. Also, naming a character after a weekday may imply he is similar to the day's feel (See Seinfeld
). Someone named Monday can't be fun, because Garfield
hates Mondays, right? On the other hand, Saturday must be super fun to hang out with, and, ladies, he's single.
Another way is getting away with naming a character after a month. This is not as meaningful because some people actually do name their kids after months (April, May, June), and, not only that, we still use two month names originated by Roman emperors with considerably large egos (July and August, for Julius and Augustus).
See also Temporal Theme Naming
, Days of the Week Song
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Anime & Manga
- Friday Monday from Madlax.
- In the Alabasta arc of One Piece, the Baroque Works organization gives days of the week as Code Names to its high-ranking female agents. (The very top female agents above them get codenamed after specific holidays.) Like many other names in One Piece, there doesn't seem to be any significance besides sounding cool.
- In Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon, the Inners all have last names that contain the kanji used for the days of the week: Usagi Tsukino (tsuki = moon = Monday), Ami Mizuno (mizu = water = Wednesday), Rei Hino (hi = fire = Tuesday), Makoto Kino (ki = tree = Thursday), Minako Aino (ai = gold = Friday). Sailor Saturn uses the kanji for earth (to) for Saturday.
- In Digimon Xros Wars, the epithets of the Death Generals each start with a kanji that corresponds to a day of the week. The first four appear out of chronological sequence (fire, moon, wood, water), but the last three are in order (gold, earth, sun).
- In Kuroko no Basuke, each of the main members of the Seirin High Basketball Club (except for Kuroko), have a kanji corresponding to a day of the week in their name. In order starting from Sunday: Hyuuga(日), Izuki(月), Kagami(火), Mitobe(水), Kiyoshi(木), Koganei(金), and Tsuchida(土).
- The main character of Rogue Trooper reboot is named Friday.
- One of Alan Moore's one-shot strips for 2000 AD titled "Chronocops" which was modeled as a parody of Dragnet with Time Travel, saw a main character named Joe Saturday with a partner Ed Thursday. A detective from the Fraud Division is named Marv Wednesday, and Ed's grandmother has the name Tuesday.
- Legion of Super-Heroes member Mon-El (real name Lar Gand) was named that way because Superboy mistook him for his older brother (Lar had amnesia at the time) and they met on a Monday. (-El being Superboy's family surname.)
- Sort of applies to DC Comics villain Solomon Grundy, who was (re)born on a Monday (and thus named after the famous nursery rhyme.)
- Superman had a voodoo themed villain named Baron Sunday, presumably after the loa Baron Samedi, also known as Baron Saturday.
- There is Thursday and Friday (from Robinson Crusoe's character, Friday) from the Mickey Mouse Comic Universe.
- The Akutare brothers in Pretty Cure Perfume Preppy, Getsuyo, Kayo and Suiyo, are named after the Japanese words for Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday (Getsuyoubi, Kayoubi and Suiyoubi).
- Robinson Crusoe's native friend, Friday. Guess what day of the week they met? (Hint: It was Friday) And any parody thereof.
- The Thursday Next books, of course. The eponymous heroine aside, her mother is Wednesday Next, her son is Friday Next, and her daughter is Tuesday Next.
- In The Time Traveler's Wife, Gomez mentions that he and Charisse were going to name their daughter Wednesday, but change their mind.
- The Man Who Was Thursday by G. K. Chesterton, though there the days of the week are just the code names for the seven leaders of a secret anarchist society and not their actual names. Rather than gods or nursery rhymes, the names are symbolic of the (slightly adjusted) Creation Week.
- Mr. Wednesday from American Gods. The name is actually foreshadowing that he is actually Odin (Odin>Woden>Weden's-day). He even acknowledges it when he first gives his name as Wednesday, claiming that "Today is my day." This almost spoils his identity for anyone who already knows the origin of the day's name.
- From the Discworld novel Witches Abroad, Mr./Baron Saturday, which like many Pratchett jokes works on multiple levels once you get the whole context.
- Wednesday Shadowmist, the heroine of Iron Sunrise by Charles Stross.
- Mr. Monday from Stardust, whose name ends up playing a role in the No Man of Woman Born ending.
- The eponymous heroine of Friday by Robert A. Heinlein.
- Sheri S. Tepper's Raising the Stones had siblings named after days of the week, but they didn't know what the words meant - their parents took them from an old list in an obsolete language, and thought they'd make good names.
- The trustees in Garth Nix's Keys to the Kingdom series are Mister Monday, Grim Tuesday, Drowned Wednesday, Sir Thursday, Lady Friday, Superior Saturday, and Lord Sunday. This was actually the very first thing that Garth Nix thought of, leading into everything else. The names just kind of fell into his head.
- In Blue Avenger Cracks the Code, the sequel to The Adventures of Blue Avenger, one of Blue's childhood friends is named Tuesday.
- In the teen novel Adorable Sunday, the protagonist explains that when she was born, her mother got the idea in her head that she should be called Sunday, on the grounds that she would grow up to be "somebody." (The plot focused on her brief career in modeling.)
Sunday's dad: Besides, she was born today, and today is Thursday.
Sunday's mom: I don't care. Sunday is a special day, and this is a special child. I can't help when she was born.
- The children's picture book Heckedy-Peg by Audrey and Don Wood features seven children named after the days of the week (the oldest is Monday, the youngest is little Sunday). Also notable for gorgeous illustrations and a dose of terrifying (the wicked witch turns the children into food and will eat them unless their mother can guess which food is which child).
- Brian Doyle's novel Spud Sweetgrass has a character named Mr. Friday, who, appropriately enough, runs a chain of chipwagons.
- Welkin Weasels: Gaslight Geezers shows Spindrick Sylver's anarchist group naming themselves after days of the week, which leads to an entertaining Who's on First? routine when he tries to ask "Saturday" for help and everyone assumes he's making an appointment for the next meeting.
- Guy Montag in Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451 (his surname is German for Monday).
- A Series of Unfortunate Events has a few characters named after weekdays. The final book had Friday, with it being implied that an earlier character's name was Monday (and her father) and an unseen woman named Thursday.
- The young adult novel The Snowbird features a character named July, who explains that he had so many older brothers and sisters that his mother was completely out of ideas as to what to name him, so his father told her to just name him after the month in which he was born. Humorously, he adds, "Good thing I wasn't born in April."
- A short story in the Hellboy book Oddest Jobs discusses this. Hellboy, Liz, and another B.P.R.D. worker try to think of someone named Thursday, and Hellboy ends up telling a story of a man with the last name Thursday. The man comes from a race of Thursday Men, who are trying to prevent the sinister and destructive Wednesday Men from coming through to our dimension.
- The hamlet folk in the book of Lark Rise To Candleford nicknamed their farmer, Morris, "Old Monday". This got transferred to the TV series without the man's real name being mentioned.
- Sharon Creech's Bloomability stars a protagonist named Domenica Santolina Doone, or "Dinnie" for short. "Domenica" is Italian for "Sunday," her mother naming her such because she was born on a Sunday and that made her blessed. She certainly gets a lot of opportunities.
- In Alethea Kontis's Enchanted, all seven girls are named for the day they were born, and fit the rhyme.
- In 1066 and All That, before the conversion of England, the Saxons worshiped gods named Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
Live Action TV
- Wednesday Friday Addams, of The Addams Family, had the week's scariest name as her own.
- There was a Square One TV sketch that was a parody of The Addams Family, called The Adding Family. In it, the two (unseen) children were hit with a terrible (from their perspective... and maybe a little bit of ours, too) curse. One was Pugster; the other was Thursday.
- In the new epic of our times, That '80s Show, a punk rocker was named June Tuesday.
- Girl Friday
- Dragnet had Joe Friday.
- Parodied in the 1987 movie when his grandmother showed up. His maternal grandmother, Granny Monday.
- Mathnet had Kate Monday and Pat Tuesday.
- The Monster of the Week in the Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode "The Freshman" is a vampire sorority girl named Sunday.
- In Mister Rogers' Neighborhood's Land of Make-believe, there's the royal family: King Friday XIII, his wife Queen Saturday, and their son Prince Tuesday.
- One adaption of Snow White has the Seven Dwarfs characterised as this.
- One Inspector Morse episode has a female television presenter known as Friday. Her actual name is Frideswide.
- The prequel series Endeavour introduces us to Inspector Thursday, Constable Morse's Mentor Archetype.
- The highest-ranking underlings of Tauzant in the Jakanja have such names: Manmaruba = Monday, Chuuzubo = Tuesday ("Chu-zu-de-i"), Wendinu = Wednesday, Sargain = Thursday ("Sa-zu-de-i"), Furabijo = Friday (Fu-ra-i-de-i), Satorakura = Saturday, Sandaru = Sunday
- In My Hero, Thermoman's Clark Kenting name is George Sunday. Post-Jump The Shark, The Other Darrin takes the Secret Identity George Monday.
- Shortland Street's Tuesday Warner.
- Mister Saturday Night
- The refrain of "She Came in Through the Bathroom Window" by The Beatles:
- Didn't anybody tell her/Didn't anybody see/Sunday's on the phone to Monday/Tuesday's on the phone to me."
- Don't forget that Monday's child has learned to tie his bootlaces in "Lady Madonna".
- The Sundays
- The Saturdays
- Ruby Tuesday.
- Happy Mondays
- And on that note, The Weeknd with their second album, Thursday.
- Taking Back Sunday
Myth & Legend
- Baron Samedi, the Voodoo Loa, and any character inspired by him.
- Jewish lore says that when Esther became queen she gave her handmaids these names to help keep track of when it was the Sabbath. However, she felt that such simple names were degrading, so she instead named them after what God created on each particular day during the creation story.
- Monsieur Dimanche (Sunday), the creditor in Dom Juan by Moličre. The reason for this name is unclear.
- Multi-Purpose Super-Robot Thursday!
- Giado Venerdi (Italian for "Friday"), Latooni Subota (Russian for "Saturday"), and Garnet Sunday from Super Robot Wars Original Generation.
- Nigel the elf from Landstalker has a Fairy Companion named Friday.
- Killer7 has a creepy, wide-eyed Remnant Psyche child who shows up just before the special Heaven Smile fight in each level named Kess Bloodysunday.
- In Pokémon Gold and Silver/Crystal, there were seven NPCs whose names resembled days of the week and would only appear on the day of the week they resembled: Monica of Monday, Tuscany of Tuesday, Wesley of Wednesday, Arthur of Thursday, Frieda of Friday, Santos of Saturday, Sunny of Sunday.
- In Dark Cloud there are a series of enemies named after the days of the week in Wise Owl Forest.
- Actress Tuesday Weld, whose name the Flintstones example pastiched.
- Thursday October Christian was the son of the leader of the mutiny on The Bounty. That happened in Real Life, too.
- Wednesday Burns-White of Websnark.
- Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban named their daughter Sunday Rose.
- "Domenica", meaning "Sunday", is a common name in Italy.
- As is the Spanish equivalent Domingo, usually as the surname Dominguez.
- There's a Goth model with the stage name Wednesday Mourning.
- British Pop band The Saturdays
- Day of the week names are VERY common in some parts of Africa. (Almost always as men's names.) This troper has personally met Several Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays; as well as more Mondays than you can shake a stick at. (I have also been told that Sunday, Saturday, and Thursday also get used. I just haven't met any.)
- In particular, there are names that you would usually name children if they were born on a certain day of the week. For example, Kofi for Friday, Kwaku for Wednesday, Kwame for Saturday, etc.
Two famous examples are former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan and Ghanaian president Kwame Nkrumah (although the latter appears to have actually been born on a Tuesday, there may have been a mixup in the day reckoning).
- The same is frequent in Burma/Myanmar and Tibet.
- You know that joke where a man rides into town on day name and leaves another day name after staying some duration that doesn't add up? The horse's name is one of the two days mentioned.
- Susan Sontag (German for Sunday).
- Chef Amanda Freitag
- The actress who played Kristen in A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master has the memorable name of Tuesday Knight.
- Former MLB player and current Dodger radio play-by-play announcer Rick Monday.
- For a time leading up until around World War One, there was an ongoing Serial Escalation in terms of number and weight of guns mounted on battleships (it eventually normed out at around three or four turrets, since this was the most you could practically mount without the guns blocking each other's fields of fire). Possibly the apex of this was HMS Agincourt, originally designed for the Brazlian Navy with a main battery of seven turrets. Each turret was unofficially named for a different day of the week, with Sunday the foremost turret and Saturday the turret at the stern.