This week I have another news for you from the Polski Daily website! If you’re interested in learning more about Polish language and culture, you can sign up for weekly newsletters here: polskidaily.eu!
Not too many people pay attention to the meaning of the most popular words in a language, the ones we’re all using pretty much every day, sooo days of the week! I don’t know if you’ve ever noticed that! In Polish and most Slavic languages the idea of the week and names of it’s days started existing the same moment when christianity came. The creator of the days of the week is most probably St. Methodius.
Sunday: in most of the Slavic languages the word comes from the phrase in old common Slavic language „ne dělatĭ” – „nie działać” - literally „don’t work”, so simply the day of rest. As per the christian tradition it was the first day of the week, as that was the day when Jesus resurrected. On Good Friday, during Easter, we commemorate the day when Jesus was crucified, and then, „after 3 days he resurrected”, and according to the Bible, that was „the first day”,
Monday: means „the day after Sunday” („Po Niedzieli”), the second day of the week,
Tuesday: the second day after Sunday (wtóry – drugi, in Proto-Slavic language vtorŭ),
Wednesday: the name comes from the word „środek” so „the middle” and means – of course – the middle day of the week. According to some sources, the word origins from the old German word, that meant exacly that – the middle of the week!
Thursday: the name comes from number 4 and it is the fourth day from Sunday,
Friday: the name comes from number 5 and it is the fifth day from Sunday,
Saturday: the name comes from Shabbat – the holy day of rest in Judaism. According to the Old Testament, God was creating the world for 6 days and the 7th day He was resting, and that’s where Shabbat came from. What’s also interesting, in Judaism you count the day not from sun rise till sun set, but the opposite, that’s why Shabbat lasts from Friday evening till sun set on Saturday evening,
With time, the original, numeral meaning of the days of the week has been kind of forgotten, due to the fact that work week was starting on Monday, after the free weekend which was ending the long work week ;-)