Tuesday, September 08, 2009

So where did Tuesday come from?

Sometimes when I'm immensely bored and yet mildly curious. I wonder about things. Like for instance...."Where in the world did Tuesday come from?

So I went searching, and I'd like to share my exploits (yes, this is what happens after a 3 day weekend lol)

The name comes from Middle English Tiwesday, from Old English Tiwes dæg, named after the Nordic god Tyr, who was the approximate equivalent of the Roman war god Mars, and Greek god Ares.

In Latin, it is called Martis dies which means "Mars's Day". In Romance languages the word for "Tuesday" is similar to the Latin name: mardi in French, martes in Spanish, martedì in Italian, dimarts in Catalan, and marţi in Romanian. But Portuguese, also a Romance language, uses the word terça-feira, meaning "third day of liturgical celebration", that comes from the Latin "feria tertia" used in religious texts where it was not allowed to consecrate days to pagan gods.

The surviving Celtic languages preserve the Latin names] although none of these languages are descended from Latin. Tuesday is dé máirt in Irish, Meurzh in Breton, dydd Mawrth in Welsh and Dimàirt in Scottish Gaelic.


Portuguese uses numbers instead of pagan names and so their word for "Tuesday" is terça-feira (the third day; Sunday [Domingo] is the first day of the liturgical week).

The Greek word for "Tuesday" is Triti meaning "third", counting Tuesday as the third day of the week.

The Hebrew word for "Tuesday" is Yom Shlishi (יום שלישי) meaning "third day", counting Tuesday as the third day of the week.

The Arabic word for "Tuesday" is yawm ath-thulaathaaʼ يوم الثلاثاء (Urdu, Mangl منگل) (Persian: Seh-Shanbeh, سه شنبه) meaning "third day", counting Tuesday as the third day of the week.

The Russian word for "Tuesday" is vtórnik, meaning "second"; that is, counting Tuesday as the second day of the week.

Quakers traditionally referred to Tuesday as "Third Day" eschewing the pagan origin of the English name "Tuesday". This has also been the custom in Iceland since about the 11th century when Jón Ögmundsson changed it to Þriðjudagur, meaning "Third Day".[citation needed]

Religious observances

In the Eastern Orthodox Church. Tuesdays are dedicated to Saint John the Baptist. The Octoechos contains hymns on this theme, arranged in an eight-week cycle, that are chanted on Tuesdays throughout the year. At the end of Divine Services on Tuesday, the dismissal begins with the words: "May Christ our True God, through the intercessions of his most-pure Mother, of the honorable and glorious Prophet, Forerunner and Baptist John…"

Cultural references

In the Greek world, Tuesday (the day of the week of the Fall of Constantinople) is considered an unlucky day. The same is true in the Spanish-speaking world, where a proverb runs: En martes, ni te cases ni te embarques, meaning, "On Tuesday, neither get married nor begin a journey." For both Greeks and Spanish-speakers, the 13th of the month is considered unlucky if it falls on Tuesday, instead of Friday. In Judaism, on the other hand, Tuesday is considered a particularly lucky day, because in the first chapter of Genesis the paragraph about this day contains the phrase "it was good" twice.

In the Thai solar calendar, the day is named for the Pali word for the planet Mars, which also means "Ashes of the Dead" [2]; the color associated with Tuesday is pink.

In the folk rhyme Monday's Child, "Tuesday's child is full of grace".

Common occurrences

United States and Canada

Tuesday is the usual day for elections in the United States. Federal elections take place on the Tuesday after the first Monday in November; this date was established by a law of 1845 for presidential elections (specifically for the selection of the Electoral College), and was extended to elections for the House of Representatives in 1875 and for the Senate in 1914. Tuesday was the earliest day of the week which was practical for polling in the early nineteenth century: citizens might have to travel for a whole day to cast their vote, and would not wish to leave on Sunday which was a day of worship for the great majority of them.

In the United States and Canada, most home video and audio releases for purchase or rental occur on Tuesdays. Since this policy began, there have been very few exceptions to this common release day.[citations needed]

Named days

* Black Tuesday, in the United States, refers to October 29, 1929, part of the great Stock Market Crash of 1929. This was the Tuesday after Black Thursday. The crash is said to have marked the start of the Great Depression.
* Patch Tuesday is the second Tuesday of every month when Microsoft releases patches for their products. Some system administrators call this day Black Tuesday.
* Shrove Tuesday (also called Mardi Gras - fat Tuesday) precedes the first day of Lent in the Western Christian calendar.
* Super Tuesday is the day many American states hold their presidential primary elections.

1 comment:

Isabel Roman said...

All very fascinating, and yet when I woke up this morning and realized it was Tuesday, my question was still the same and yet the meaning was so very different.

Where DID Tuesday come from?

These 3 day weekends go so very fast...