Dictionary.com

Wednesday’s Named for Two Very Different Gods

Woden, Odin

The name Wednesday derives from two mighty but distinct gods. The Old English word for Wednesday indicates that the day was named for the Germanic god Woden. In Romance languages, the name is derived from the Roman god Mercury. (For example, Wednesday is mercredi in French and miercuri in Romanian.) Woden (also known as Odin) and Mercury have  been associated since Scandinavian and Roman cultures crossed paths. Under Woden’s supervision, the earth and sky were created from the dead body of a giant named Ymir. Woden also created the first man and woman from an ash tree and an alder. As if fashioning the human race wasn’t enough, Woden also established the laws of the universe. (The wacky history of Tuesday makes the origin of “Wednesday” seem boring. Read it here.)

Mercury was the messenger to the gods, along with being the patron of science, the arts, travelers and athletes. Today, he is one of the most widely recognized gods. Usually, he’s depicted wearing a winged helmet and sandals.

Starting around 1965, Wednesday began being referred to as “hump day.” Smack dab in the middle of the traditional work week, arriving at Wednesday symbolizes that we’ve made it over the hump and the weekend is in sight.

131 Comments

  1. snarky -  April 14, 2014 - 4:24 pm

    thank you, Ruth!

    Reply
  2. Fiannore -  April 3, 2014 - 8:18 am

    Veldrina,
    I don’t know what kind of Bible you read, but the traditional one is the Douay Rheims. Your understanding of Catholicism is rather juvenile. Perhaps you should find an old traditional catechism. Modern Catholicism would be more down your alley. The pope is only infallible under very particular circumstances, otherwise he can err.
    May God bless you with the graces necessary to see the truth.

    Reply
    • Sarah -  April 4, 2014 - 10:12 pm

      Why pick on Catholics? Everyone is fallible. Are you picking on a religion, an organization or just plan being picky?

      Reply
    • Nawilliams -  July 22, 2014 - 5:57 am

      Even the pope can fall.. The ONLY infallible person is God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit, which are ALL one. So, when people believe that the pope is a god that doesn’t make mistakes, I have to ask this question..??? What bible are you reading..????

      1 Timothy 2:5
      For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus

      in·fal·li·ble
      1.absolutely trustworthy or sure: an infallible rule.
      2.unfailing in effectiveness or operation; certain: an infallible remedy.
      3.not fallible; exempt from liability to error, as persons, their judgment, or pronouncements: an infallible principle.
      4.Roman Catholic Church immune from fallacy or liability to error in expounding matters of faith or morals by virtue of the promise made by Christ to the Church.

      Reply
  3. Veldrina -  August 21, 2013 - 10:19 am

    Whether folks “believe” in Roman, Greek, or Norse gods or not, the fact remains that the names come from them. I happen to be pagan but I knew about the history behind the names before I became Wiccan. The names are mostly from the Norse gods, except for Sunday & Monday (Sun’s Day & Moon’s Day). Tuesday is Tyr’s Day, the god of war, who also corresponds with the Roman god of war (& planet) Mars (greek Ares). Wednesday is Woden’s Day, and coresponds to the god/planet Mercury (Greek Hermes). The AllFather Odin was known as a wayfarer, hence why it would make sense to align these traveling gods. Thursday is Thor’s Day, and corresponds to planet/Roman God Jupiter (greek Zeus) as both gods were storm/lightning gods. Friday is sometimes assigned to Freya & sometimes to Frigga, very similar goddesses known for their beauty, though Freya more for her battle prowess & being the Queen of the Valkyries. Planet/roman goddess is Venus (greek Aphrodite) * hence viernes in spanish. Saturday is names after the roman god Saturn (greek Chronos, father of Zeus) & unless someone knows different, I don’t believe it has a corresponding norse god/goddess, though I would probably say the Norns (Fates). There are 7 days because in the beginning only 7 heavenly bodies could be seen. The discovery of uranus, neptune & pluto came later. (Uranus = urania, queen of the Muses, Neptune = Poseidon, king of the seas, Pluto= Hades, Queen of the underworld & the norse counterpart would be Hel or Hela, norse queen of the dead, where you get the word Hell from.) As for facts, look them up on Google folks…”in the age of information, ignorance is a choice”. And pls do NOT start with me on the “they’re not real, just myths, i don’t believe etc.” (1) I don’t believe in the bible, though I’m pretty well versed in it since i actually READ, so i don’t need u trying to shove it down my throat., thanx. (2) every mythos was once (or still is) someone’s belief system, so have some respect, & (3) if the old myths sound far-fetched, think of how it must sound to others when u explain a zombie god whose blood & flesh u eat at mass, who could turn water into wine, cure ppl, bring them back from the dead, & that there’s an old guy who has a hotline to god & wears a funny hat who is never wrong about what god wants.

    Reply
    • Craig -  April 15, 2014 - 9:57 am

      Wow! Talk about being disrespectful. You sure like to color your opinion of Christianity with some very negative and offensive descriptions.

      Reply
    • Anonymous -  May 22, 2014 - 4:52 pm

      Thor’s day = Thursday. Thor is the Norse god of thunder.

      Reply
  4. ula salah -  October 3, 2012 - 8:56 am

    thank you 4 the info :)

    Reply
  5. Borp -  October 3, 2012 - 5:43 am

    Of course, I may be wrong. After all, I only know that I know nothing…

    Reply
  6. Borp -  October 3, 2012 - 5:39 am

    These comments are some of the most inane I’ve ever seen, and I’ve been to YouTube.

    To A Bittersweet Melody: That argument doesn’t work. Science isn’t what you believe in, science is what you know from what you observe, or what you know from what other people have observed. Other people have observed these things and spread them on. Other people have tested these observations and found them right (in which case they’re kept and spread on) or wrong (in which case they’re dismissed, as soon as possible).

    Also, that’s not exactly what Socrates said — he said that he was wiser than a man who did not know something about a matter and said that he did, whereas he was equally ignorant and confessed to knowing nothing, as accounted by Plato. It’s not supposed to be “know nothing because you can’t be sure that you ever truly know anything” (a philosophy that renders one incapable of practical living), it’s supposed to be “be straightforward about what you don’t know” — a far less philosophical sentiment.

    Reply
  7. John -  July 17, 2011 - 2:09 pm

    i am a wednesday child. does that mean i’m odin’s child? i was born on miercoles. does that mean i can fly?

    Reply
  8. Tammy D -  July 3, 2011 - 4:03 pm

    I like MJ’s explanation above best.

    Reply
  9. Tammy D -  July 3, 2011 - 3:54 pm

    Woden’s Day. English pronunciation has changed a lot over the years. Ruth who made the comment above is right; a lot of English people do say Wedinsday. We like to shorten things and Wodensday started to be pronounced as Wedinsday, then Wednesday with a silent “d” and a silent “e” because people talk lazy. And it is that peculiarity that in certain dialects in England where they say Wedinsday that gives us more insight into how the word used to be pronounced. The “o” in Wodensday was just too much work to say, so it got made Wedinsday because the “e” sound like in “egg” sound is easier.

    Reply
  10. Amber -  June 27, 2011 - 10:41 pm

    um, excuse me, my name is amber, and, not to brag because i hate when people do that (this is just to prove a point here) i’m the smartest person in my class. a name has nothing to do with anyone’s academic abilities.

    Reply
  11. JJ Rousseau -  June 27, 2011 - 3:43 pm

    ‘I don’t like Mondays’,Oui?

    Reply
    • AWESOME GIRL -  April 14, 2014 - 4:20 pm

      oui

      Reply
  12. antonio -  June 26, 2011 - 2:21 pm

    Mercury is a planet nextest of the Sun. The word “mercado” that means market/shopping came from Merc+ury (merc+ado), because Odin/Mercury is the god of traders.

    Reply
  13. Mike McKelvy -  June 26, 2011 - 1:44 pm

    Sunday… The Sun’s Day
    Monday… Man’s Day
    Tuesday.. Twos Day the second day of the work week
    Wednesday… Marriage Day for Wed’uns
    Thursday… Thirst Day for drinking to celebrate getting over the “Hump”\
    Friday… Fish Fry day (cuz we don’t eat meat)
    Saturday… EZ! We sat on the couch and watched TV

    Reply
    • AWESOME GIRL -  April 14, 2014 - 4:22 pm

      FUNNY!!! I totally agree, Mike McKelvy

      Reply
  14. tan -  June 26, 2011 - 12:07 am

    @H_E_Y
    I would say that the dictionary has been compiled logically, and as logic (and generally accepted base postulates) make up science, then, yes a dictionary would be a book of science. The science of communication, or something similar.
    P.S. you are the first person to ever reply to one of my comments, thank-you, I’m flattered.

    Reply
  15. Jas Hilsdon -  June 24, 2011 - 11:54 am

    I too was confused by the article. It finally became clear that the author did not say clearly what he meant, and did not mean exactly what he said. Beyond that, it’s interesting to note that all the days of the week (at least in english) are taken from either celestial bodies or ancient gods, all things way over our heads.

    Reply
  16. Sunday -  June 24, 2011 - 10:48 am

    Where is a record of your claim.

    Reply
  17. Maximonk -  June 24, 2011 - 8:46 am

    It must be very disappointing to write interesting articles then to find that the majority of responders cannot understand simple English and have very little idea of grammar or spelling.

    Reply
  18. Ismael -  June 24, 2011 - 5:51 am

    The truth about history of man has been corrupted by the devil ( the liar, satan) through the man. All cultures and even christianity have been currupted( all rituals are paganized). Such lies have been stretching down throughout the history into our days. Unfortunately, they affect our lives. The holy Bible deserves our trust! it contains the truth about man’s history and the mind of his Creator. Beware of your culture, habits,…

    Reply
  19. neely -  June 24, 2011 - 2:59 am

    wats the relevance between god wodenn nd god mercury so as to make the whole as wednesday

    Reply
  20. Ruth -  June 23, 2011 - 11:25 pm

    The point the Christians were trying to make was that “Wednesday” began when it was created (read Genesis). The topic of God is relevant here.

    We know what we believe. It is the heckling that is ridiculous. You start throwing out insults and threats when you don’t have truth to back up your arguments. That kind of behavior tells me that you are insecure. Frankly, it makes me sad rather than mad that so many people are lost. If you like it that way, fine. But none of you seem to be enjoying yourselves. To have heads full of knowledge isn’t enough, so you put others down to look more intelligent.

    To quote John Mayer, “Something’s missing and I don’t know what it is.”

    Reply
  21. Jordan -  June 23, 2011 - 10:43 pm

    This article is not saying that the name Wednesday is derived from both the names Woden and Mercury. It’s saying that it is derived from the name Woden. That’s it. In Romance languages (English is not a romance language), the name for Wednesday tends to be derived from Mercury. For example, miercoles in Spanish. The OE word for Wed. is Wodnesdæg, which literally means Woden’s Day. Over time, that somehow changed to Wednesday. Point is, if you read the article with care, it shouldn’t be that confusing. Also, the article is not trying to make you believe in mythology; if you feel like you need to defend your Christian beliefs after reading this, maybe you’re not truly too convinced of them in the first place.

    Reply
  22. Ruth -  June 23, 2011 - 10:17 pm

    Thanks ProStoVeritate for that bit of wisdom. This is America, isn’t it???

    Tobias Mook, Joe Snarky…boy, you seem like some real happy guys! Learn to smile more. The anger ages you by at least ten years.

    Reply
  23. ly -  June 23, 2011 - 8:01 pm

    this explains the character “wednesday” in neil gaiman’s “american gods”. good read!

    Reply
  24. Chelsea-Brooke -  June 23, 2011 - 7:49 pm

    wow!

    Reply
  25. H_E_Y -  June 23, 2011 - 3:20 pm

    @ MJ
    Are you a specialist?? You seemed to know a lot..or you just copy-paste those info from other sites.. just asking..

    Reply
  26. H_E_Y -  June 23, 2011 - 3:13 pm

    @tan
    Is dictionary book of science??

    Reply
  27. Illz -  June 23, 2011 - 2:17 pm

    (to the first comment on this page)

    well, do you “beliv” in SPELLING???

    Reply
  28. Tenaya -  June 23, 2011 - 1:12 pm

    The essay is factual. It reveals information found in linguistic studies for all you “fact people”. The English language is derived mainly from the Germanic language and discovering the hidden terminology used gives definition to a lot of our day to day words. Do your homework before stating you need facts; because it will only make you look more ignorant if you don’t.

    Reply
  29. Pancham -  June 23, 2011 - 1:07 pm

    Nice answer. But not convincing….

    Reply
  30. Mwah -  June 23, 2011 - 12:58 pm

    Where is Mercury in Wednesday..?

    Reply
  31. the_midnight_linguist -  June 23, 2011 - 12:35 pm

    @Booyoh & @smoothius

    It would have been pronounced differently by the Northern Germanic tribes that settled in England (back when the word was still “wodinsdag”). However, the result of the Norman invasion was a heavy French influence on not only English vocabulary (the word “beef” is of French origin), but also the pronunciations of already established words. It also doesn’t help that, mostly due to the printing press, spellings were solidified by grammarians who were pretentious and concerned with origins being reflected in the words. The history of words is actully pretty fascinating, but it’s a lot more complex than people realize.
    Also, given that Mercury and Odin are never referenced in the same words by the same cultures and generally never represent similarly at all, this article only gets 2.5 stars out of 5. Interesting but underresearched information presented in a confusing fashion. Shame on you dictionary.com.

    Also, whether or not you believe in the same things as an ancient culture doesn’t change the fact that (if you live in the western hemisphere) you are still supporting their gods by buying a calendar. :D
    Just kidding…sort of.

    Also, for all the people who are using this forum as a place to spout ANY religious beliefs, shame on you. It is not only irrelevant but offensively distracting.

    Reply
  32. Ratna Mangalam -  June 23, 2011 - 9:19 am

    it seems intresting, i just enjoy it!

    Reply
  33. Ray Shell -  June 23, 2011 - 8:54 am

    That is so cool! I love origins and how they make sense of why they did it.

    Reply
  34. kiloh -  June 23, 2011 - 8:48 am

    this is the dumbest thing i have ever read….how did the name wednesday come about? oh wait, you didn’t bother to tell us!

    Reply
  35. MJ -  June 23, 2011 - 8:22 am

    This article is rather incomplete, which seems to be leading to the confusion among the younger, less educated commentators.

    How does “Mercury” get mixed up with “Odin”?

    The article makes a very slight reference to this. In the romance languages, the name for Wednesday doesn’t reference Odin, but rather the roman god Mercury.

    This doesn’t explain though why Odin would be equated with Mercury. How this comes about is when the Romans recorded their contact with the Germanic tribes, they associated the Germanic deities as aspects of Roman gods rather than as separate entities; Odin was described as an aspect of Mercury.

    From this, we can then see how germanic languages such as English would have “Wednesdays’ (Odin’s day), and romance languages such as french, it’s “Mercredi”.

    But how do we go from “Odin’s Day” to “Wednesday”? Words change. Not immediately, but over time (compare modern, middle and old English).

    Wednesday derives from the middle English “Wednes dei”, which itself is derived from the old English “Wēdnes dæg”, or ‘Woden’s Day”. Woden was the English equivalent of the Norse god Odin.

    Over the course of time (“time” being centuries, mind you), pronunciations of words change. That’s why we don’t all still speak old English. The language evolved over time.

    And, none of this requires believing or worshiping said pagan gods, kiddies, or makes any statements about christianity or the bible…

    It’s all just simple scholarship and learning about language.

    Enjoy!

    Reply
  36. W.T.Ferris -  June 23, 2011 - 7:46 am

    The utter lack of proper spelling and even of reading comprehension you people display is simply stupefying.

    Rather than making simply idiotic comments about not believing in ‘ancestral logic’ (whatever that is!) I would encourage people to use this website to better their language skills so they can type out simple English words with a little more skill than a 6 year old.

    Reply
  37. eddo -  June 23, 2011 - 6:50 am

    thanxx alot my guy wednesday is my favorite day now (SARCASM)

    Reply
  38. Lena -  June 23, 2011 - 6:47 am

    If Wednesday is hump-day which day is the first day of the week?
    And don’t say Monday because you would be WRONG!!!!!!!!!!!
    Explain what all the other days mean?

    Reply
  39. Ed -  June 23, 2011 - 2:49 am

    Since this is written in English to English speakers, I had to read it again to understand why Mercury is mentioned. I assumed, on reading, that this was all about the English word “Wednesday.” My mistake?

    Reply
  40. iamarci -  June 23, 2011 - 1:25 am

    In english – Wednesday (Wodin)
    in Spanish – Miercoles (Mercury)

    maybe that’s why they say it came from two Gods.

    Reply
  41. N -  June 23, 2011 - 12:20 am

    To: people complaining about the paganism:

    Christians were told to respect other people’s religions.
    They were also told to not complain

    Reply
  42. tan -  June 22, 2011 - 11:57 pm

    @ mason mendez
    this isnt a site for advertising, there are those of us who like to read interesting things without unnecessary contributions.
    @ everybody who brought religion into the tuesday article, i would like to point out that dictionary.com is not about religion, for that you want a bible or something. a dictionary is a book of science! please treat it as such. (i would post this in the tuesday article but it would be so far down that no-one would ever read it)

    Reply
  43. Dan -  June 22, 2011 - 10:46 pm

    Okay.. As much as I have been on here,reading the daily word of the day and blogs,this one here confuses me and in my opinion,I believe this article needs more work. Why does Wednesday sounds like Whensday and why do we even have a D in there if we aren’t going to use it? Why try to make the word difficult to pronounce? And Which words exactly help make Wednesday,which part of those words and why? You guys explain everything so nice and neat in your other articles,this article feels like you guys were just plain lazy and didn’t try to put as much effort in it as you usually do with the rest of your articles.

    Reply
  44. clark -  June 22, 2011 - 10:14 pm

    Nothin to say or write anymore. Am i the last?

    Reply
  45. Amit -  June 22, 2011 - 9:26 pm

    Thanks Chris! I think that is the way, we should look at it. It is not the question, whether we believe in Roman gods or Greek gods; people who like mythologies, would always love them, irrespective of, whether they are logical or scientifically correct or not.

    Reply
  46. MonkWgun -  June 22, 2011 - 9:26 pm

    People do not read well. Micheal has it right for the other days as well. Mercury doesnt mix with Odin to create wensday. They are seperate names in seperate countries. Odin rocks! Read the bible if you want to belong to the desert god of war and blood (err, I mean the one true god).

    Reply
  47. nope -  June 22, 2011 - 9:13 pm

    Genesis 1: 1-31

    Reply
  48. L -  June 22, 2011 - 8:22 pm

    the Germans got it right on this one…Mittwoch…(the god of) mid-week

    Reply
  49. VJ -  June 22, 2011 - 7:14 pm

    guys , in Age of Mythology , my god is Odin

    Reply
  50. rousseau -  June 22, 2011 - 7:12 pm

    still not really real like reality real, Oui? hearsay?

    Reply
  51. Rustgold -  June 22, 2011 - 6:52 pm

    Would some people keep away from the religious preaching, or at least go away and do it somewhere else.

    Re Wednesday, Wiki claims the same thing, but it’s a Christian corruption of old faiths.
    Wednesday is for Woden, a late Germanic corruption of a Scandinavian God. Most of the reliable information of the old faith was lost with Christian conversion; and Mercury was linked to Woden/Odin by some vague alleged similarities (unreliable).
    To keep things simple, the name Wednesday was simply a tool to help with the forced Christian conversions, and is based from Woden.

    Reply
  52. Tobias Mook -  June 22, 2011 - 6:14 pm

    Wow, every time I read these posts some idiotic televangelist ruins it for me. I look at the comments to see how others react to the stunning Etymology of our language and suddenly I find someone blathering away.

    How is it wrong if we recognize the beautiful Viking culture through week days since it somehow says that we’re “Pagan” (which by the way, isn’t a bad thing at all).

    Have some respect for other people.

    Reply
  53. Raul Villarreal -  June 22, 2011 - 6:13 pm

    Yes,indeed very interesting.like Everest stated.wednesday in spanish is miercoles.and i can only assume that, mier stands for mierda and coles stands for colas.
    just a thought.

    Reply
  54. monica -  June 22, 2011 - 6:05 pm

    mason mendez I enjoyed reading your words. How can I read more ?

    Reply
  55. Raul Villarreal -  June 22, 2011 - 6:01 pm

    Hey Jason Mendez,no disrespect intended,but i think you should get out of the house once in a while and see what’s really going on.

    I was not aware that there’s still people that actually still,after all thats happened in history,still believe in ancient Gods.

    Reply
  56. Seriously? -  June 22, 2011 - 5:42 pm

    First, does anyone else find it ironic that there are grammatical and spelling errors in over half of the comments on DICTIONARY.com? An author can present the most eloquent idea, but if it is presented poorly they just sound ignorant.

    Second, to all the people trying to figure out how Woden and Mercury combine to make Wednesday, read the article again. They are not combined; english (Germanic language) refers to the Norse god, and the romance languages refer to the Roman god. Maybe dic.com should have made this two articles, since there are many unique influences that impact how a culture names something as arbitrary as a day. And it would have spared us from reading 50 comments from confused people…

    Reply
  57. AaronFF -  June 22, 2011 - 3:12 pm

    This article doesn’t pay off. It’s apparently NOT a mix of gods that makes up the word “Wednesday”, nor does it address its interesting spelling, as the teaser sentence on the front page and the headline suggest.

    Reply
  58. Joe Snarky -  June 22, 2011 - 2:43 pm

    Zzz.. So much drama in these Hot Word blog comments. There’s always some Christian nut who has to make ANYTHING irrelevant to their beliefs. And who is the OUI Hump person?? What’s that all about? This might be the strangest website on the net. THE NET

    Reply
  59. Ron -  June 22, 2011 - 2:41 pm

    The title is completely wrong. The word Wednesday is, in fact, derived from the name of one god, Woden. In other languages, they use different words for that day of the week. In at least some of those languages, the word they use is derived from the name of a different god. In fact, I’m pretty sure that in many languages, the day for that day of the week is not derived from Woden or Mercury because they had never heard of either of them when they were naming days of the week.

    In no way is that the same thing as Wednesday being named after a mixture of two gods. This site needs to hire an editor.

    Reply
  60. Robert J Moreno -  June 22, 2011 - 2:37 pm

    They are saying that Wednesday is derived from Woden’s Day. Woden was a God. And thats were Woden comes into play. And Wodens-day sounds just like Wednesday. An they said (If you speak more than one language you would understand) that “Mercredi” comes from Mercury which was a God as well. Mercredi is French for Wednesday. Therefore it actually makes much since. And Thor (Odins son) has a part in Thursday as well because he is a God as well. This all dates back to the vikings, etc, etc, etc…. It does make much since though.

    Reply
  61. Pignut -  June 22, 2011 - 2:17 pm

    Woden and Mercury do not seem to have much in common, but both are tricksters who guide the souls of the dead to the underworld. The main difference is their importance in their respective pantheons according to surviving legends. The days of the week are named after the sun, the moon and the 5 visible planets.Mercury aka Woden, Venus whose equivalent in the Norse Pantheon is Freya (love goddesses), Mars whose equivalent is Tyr or Teu (war gods), Jupiter aka Jeu, Jove, Thor or (to the Anglo Saxons), God (thunder gods) and Saturn who has no obvious Norse equivalent (Mimir?).

    Reply
  62. Dakota -  June 22, 2011 - 2:04 pm

    @Avan

    Catholics are actually notorious for incorporating Pagan practice and belief into their worship and secular life.

    Reply
  63. ProStoVeritate -  June 22, 2011 - 1:50 pm

    The One and only true God declares from His own mouth in the Holy scriptures within Exodus Chapter 23:13: “..And [believers in Him] make no mention of other gods, neither let it be heard out of your mouth.” Anyone can discover in the Old Testament that He never named the days of the week, instead He numbered them, so that we would not violate His command. Humans named the days of the week and/or months after mythological-false gods and evil men.

    Reply
  64. smitty -  June 22, 2011 - 1:42 pm

    So many people wondering how both gods are incorporated into the word Wednesday! Pay attention: in English, it’s derived from Wodin. English is a Germanic language. In Latin-based languages, such as French, it is derived from Mercury (Mecredi). There is no single word that uses a combination of both, and perhaps the author of the article was vague on that, but if you pay attention to what you read, you can figure it out.

    Reply
  65. smitty -  June 22, 2011 - 1:41 pm

    So many people wondering how both gods are incorporated into the word Wednesday! Pay attention: in English, it’s derived from Wodin. English is a Germanic language. In Latin-based languages, such as French, it is derived from Mercury (Mecredi). There is no single word that uses a combination of both, and perhaps the author of the article was vague on that, but if you pay attention to what you read, you can figure it out!

    Reply
  66. Alfred Neuman -  June 22, 2011 - 1:40 pm

    Observations on these observations:

    1. Agree with those who note how lame and incomplete this etymology is

    2. “Clark” needs to learn about the use of apostrophes

    3. “A Disciple” needs to realize that the majority of the earth’s people AREN’T Christian–so are they all wrong?

    4. “Mason Mendez” needs help!

    Reply
  67. Tara Cochrane -  June 22, 2011 - 1:24 pm

    I will summarize what this article is ineffectually trying to explain. In ancient Rome, the day we now call Wednesday was associated with the god Mercury (Mercurios). Today, Wednesday is known as mercredi in French and miercoles in Spanish, both derived from Mercury.
    When the Romans encountered the Germanic peoples to the north in their conquests, the identified their gods with the indigenous gods of those tribes. For example, Jupiter was correlated to Thor. This practice is known as interpretatio romana.
    Odin (or Woden, Wotan), was correlated to Mercury. So Mercury’s day in Latin speaking countries became Woden’s day (Wednesday) in lands where Germanic languages were spoken.

    Reply
  68. Ruth -  June 22, 2011 - 1:11 pm

    As a kid, I always remembered how to spell Wednesday by saying Wed-ness-day, but I heard someone from England pronounce it Wedins-day and it made so much more sense!!

    Reply
  69. Regan -  June 22, 2011 - 1:09 pm

    This doesn’t really make much since to me. Maybe I’m not reading it right or something, but I don’t see how Wed-Nes-Day came from Woden and Mercury.
    I can see that “Wed” and “Woden” start with w’s and have a d in them, but after that I’m lost.
    I also don’t really understand what Mercury has to do with any of this besides that in many languages, the word for Wednesday is derived from Mercury, unless it’s some far stretched thing about the letters and sounds becoming mixed up and changed over thousands of years.
    Maybe there could be another one of these or something that spells it out for people like me that have trouble seeing what’s in front of them?

    Reply
  70. erik -  June 22, 2011 - 12:45 pm

    I meant to say, it is only* the name in english.

    Reply
  71. erik -  June 22, 2011 - 12:43 pm

    mercury is connected because wednesday is on the name in english. wednesday in spanish is “miercoles”

    Reply
  72. Anthony -  June 22, 2011 - 12:42 pm

    Oops..I meant Saturday

    Reply
  73. Socrates -  June 22, 2011 - 12:41 pm

    Wednesday in German is simply “Mittwoch”, the “Mitte” (middle) of the “Woche” (week). No Mythology there, just plain and simple where it belongs.

    Reply
  74. Anthony -  June 22, 2011 - 12:40 pm

    Satuday = Saturn Day
    Sunday = Sun’s Day
    Monday = Lunes (from moon) = Moon Day
    Tuesday = Martes = Mars Day
    Wednesday = Miercoles = Mercury’s Day
    etc

    Reply
  75. Anthony -  June 22, 2011 - 12:37 pm

    And of course, in Spanish it’s Miercoles! Mercury wins out! So you can keep your “Woden”

    Reply
  76. Scott -  June 22, 2011 - 12:34 pm

    ay yo. you think your gods better than my god or sumthin?

    There’s just something about Dictionary.com that brings out the best, most grammatically robust comments in people. I figure I might as well add to it.

    Reply
  77. A Bittersweet Melody -  June 22, 2011 - 12:33 pm

    Apparently some clarification is needed. I’m pretty sure the wording in the article is simply misunderstood. I think what the article means is that the day “Wednesday” has two different gods it’s named after. The Germanic and Nordic languages use the god Woden, and the Romance languages use the god Mercury. Whether or not the two gods actually correlate may be possible. Personally, I doubt it, since the god Woden, or Odin as I love to say, is the king of gods, and the other is a war god. Still, it could be possible that the Nordic, a warlike people, found inspiration in Mercury and gave Odin some of his attributes.

    And another thing. I’m not saying this religion is right. I’m also not discrediting Christianity. However, you can’t simply call these people ‘ignorant’ because of what science has proven. Who’s to say science is right at all? Just because we live in the modern day of technology does not mean we ourselves aren’t ignorant of many things. Why do you believe science? Is it because you know the core of everything there is to know of it? Or is it because SCIENTISTS and BOOKS have told you the ‘truth of the matter’? Who is to say science is not a complete lie? Of course, I’m not saying it is, but you can never keep a closed mind. THAT is true ignorance. That is why Socrates, a pagan, mind you, said one of the wisest quotes of all time, “I only know that I know nothing.”

    Reply
  78. jo jo -  June 22, 2011 - 12:24 pm

    I don’t like wednesdays..that day is like a half-full,half-empty glass..if you know what I mean. And why do they always name the days after gods? weird..

    Reply
  79. Rebecca Black -  June 22, 2011 - 12:19 pm

    Yesterday was Tuesday.Today is Wednesday. And Thursday comes afterwards.

    Reply
  80. FrodoSam -  June 22, 2011 - 12:18 pm

    To The Observer and Me:

    I totally agree with you!

    Reply
  81. jo jo -  June 22, 2011 - 11:20 am

    yeah now i get it is cool.

    .(….\…………../….)
    ..\….\……….. /…./
    …\….\………./…./
    ….\…./´¯.I.¯`\_../…
    …./… I….I.. (__¯`\
    …I…..I….I….| ..\…\
    …I…..I´¯.I´¯.I….\…)
    …\…..` ¯..¯ ´…….’
    ….\_________.·´
    …..l-_-_-_-_-_-|
    …..l-_-_-_-_-_ | Peace Out!!!!!
    (\__/)
    (=’.'=)
    (“)_(“) I love bunnies!!!!!!!!!!!

    Reply
  82. Cliff -  June 22, 2011 - 11:19 am

    Woden makes more sense than Mercury. The English language is a strange hybrid of Latin- and Germanic-based precursors, I know, but I don’t see why the English would come to know Wednesday as such based on the influence of Latin, when so many other days clearly lack such influence.

    Wednesday sounds as close to “Wodensday” as Thursday does “Thorsday”. Similarly, the Norse god Freyr’s name is often anglicized as “Frey” (quoting Wikipedia there), which makes sense as the English did begin as Anglo-Saxon territories as well as being a possible explanation for Friday (Freyday, anyone?). Then, there is the other dictionary.com article explaining Tuesday as Tiwsday (Tiw is better known by his Old Norse name Tyr and for losing his hand to Fenris). So if only we had such etymology for Saturday!

    Reply
  83. Me -  June 22, 2011 - 11:05 am

    I think the article wasn’t bad, but a bit misleading (from some comments made). Maybe what they were trying to say was that Germanic languages derive Wednesday from the god Woden (how? spelling??); while Latin languages (Spanish, Italian, etc) take the name from the Roman god Mercury, which becomes miercoles in Spanish, mercoledi in Italian, etc. Our calendars don’t “mix” or “combine” the words to create one word. Two different gods’ are used but not for the same language…

    Reply
  84. Herschal -  June 22, 2011 - 9:39 am

    Thanks, I enjoy these and am keeping all of them. Very interesting.

    Reply
  85. C_H_A_O -  June 22, 2011 - 9:39 am

    I don’t like wednesdays..that day is like a half-full,half-empty glass..if you know what I mean. And why do they always name the days after gods? weird..

    Reply
  86. jo jo -  June 22, 2011 - 9:30 am

    i dont beliv this like come on man

    Reply
  87. bob -  June 22, 2011 - 9:28 am

    it is so ccccccccccccccoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooollllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll

    Reply
  88. Oroboros -  June 22, 2011 - 8:55 am

    Ifji, funny enough the ancients had facts to rely on in order to develop their logics. How else could the Egyptians invent mathematics and Greeks, philosophy?

    Reply
  89. anon -  June 22, 2011 - 8:16 am

    I don’t believe in spelling without the letters.

    Reply
  90. zachariah -  June 22, 2011 - 8:12 am

    I don’t understand how woden (or odin) combined with Mercury results in wednesday. I can accept that the cultures encountered one another, this is more or less historical fact; however, the proposed entomology is seemingly unsubstantiated. I would appreciate a little more information on this topic. Thank you, -Zachariah

    Reply
  91. Michael -  June 22, 2011 - 8:12 am

    wodinsdag
    thorsdag
    friasdag

    Reply
  92. Darla -  June 22, 2011 - 8:09 am

    this doesn’t explain anything of how the two names are brought together as Wednesday, or the spelling. Wodin to Wednes? Mercury somehow part of this? This is pretty Lame, I think.

    Reply
  93. Ferpie -  June 22, 2011 - 8:05 am

    To; No Hypocrisy kthxbye I ask ‘What is Xianity’? It’s not in the dictonary.

    Reply
  94. travis kleindl -  June 22, 2011 - 8:01 am

    wow thats pretty cool sence my favorite day of the weak is wedsnday and i like all that god stuff but not our christianity greek mythology is so much cooler

    Reply
  95. Cornelius -  June 22, 2011 - 7:59 am

    This makes sense.

    Reply
  96. smoothius -  June 22, 2011 - 7:41 am

    how bout an explanation of why we spell it wednesday when we pronounce it winsday?

    Reply
  97. Chris -  June 22, 2011 - 7:29 am

    Well, I don’t believe your poor grammar and ignorance, especially given that this is a reference website.
    Just because we now have science to explain how most of the universe works, that doesn’t mean that our ancesters were in some way ignorant or stupid. They used what they knew and did amazing things as well as creating mythologies thousands of years ago that were creative, expansive, and pervasive. The stories they created, whether backed by scientific fact or not, cannot truly be rivaled by our contemporaries.
    On the subject of the origins of the name of Wednesday, I think it’s very interesting that so many of the English names of the week come from Norse mythology. (Ie: Thor’s-day, Freya’s-day, etc.) Looking at it mathematically, there are (about) two days related to astrology (Sun-day and Moon-day), then four from Norse myth, and only ONE from Roman myth (Saturn’s-day.)
    So:
    Roman myth – 1/7
    Astrology – 2/7
    Norse myth – 4/7! Well over half!

    Reply
  98. Booyoh -  June 22, 2011 - 7:25 am

    Quite interesting article; however, I think it might need to be covered a little bit more since it brings more questions than answers. For example, why is it spelled Wednesday? Shouldn’t it be spelled Wodensday? Also, why is it pronounced “Wensday”?

    Reply
  99. Everest C -  June 22, 2011 - 6:59 am

    This is very interenting article, thank you. I would like
    to say that according to the latin roots, in Spanish, Wednesday
    is MIERCOLES.

    Reply
  100. Joel -  June 22, 2011 - 6:50 am

    Um, so what words were combined to make wednesday? Woden and mercredi? Seems like “Wednesday” is a couple of big steps from a combination of those two words. I heard it was a combination of wedding and nesday. :)

    Reply
  101. Kat -  June 22, 2011 - 6:30 am

    i don’t believe in the greek and roman god stuff

    Reply
  102. KLB -  June 22, 2011 - 6:28 am

    Ha, I learnt that from Neil Gaimans American Gods.

    Reply
  103. i -  June 22, 2011 - 6:17 am

    I wish you would get better educated individuals–or at least LOGICAL folk–to write these things! Weds. is HUMP DAY because it IS the hump DAY–if you look at the five-day work week as a progression, the *hump* appears AS Weds.–thus Hump Day. [Duh!] Therefore, “arriving AT Wednesday” could not POSSIBLY symbolize “that we’ve made it OVER the hump” since that would only come at the END of that HUMP day.

    Also, keep in mind the calendar in other countries/cultures STARTS with MONDAYS, so it is not our place to make broad generalizations about *the* calendar anyway! ;)

    Reply
  104. mason mendez -  June 22, 2011 - 6:01 am

    this day relates to me because my gemini zodiac sign’s energy and vibration comes mostly from mercury, the planet of youth. earth is looked upon my the gods as “planet of the children.” the roman god mercury is a big part of my spirit and soul, its energy, and guidance is at my disposal if i choose. we all have overlookers on our personal individual lives, existing in the immaterial spirit world, that can be explained in my terms as angels, i feel their presence all the time. This world has no more room for anger, fear, hatred and war. we have already created a negative, biased, divided, all american, controlled, limited, dark, cold based culture for ourselves and our children. my purpose here is to use my energy and power to help change that, i will do the right things with power. do the homework, you dont need to find something in the material world to know that it exists. you create the truth, you will find that the truth already manifests itself within your creations and imagination. reverse engineering of the thought it what im trying to get at here. someone communicates to me through myself and gives me big answers when i ask for them. i see myself as a bringer of change, a messenger of the gods, and a potential modern prophet. i am going to take an active role in changing the world in the name of truth, light, love, and virtue. i will guide mankind to our new complete spiritual culture which has everything to offer those who believe in the light. my god will bless those who choose to seek these truth’s though eachother. the only way you will truly be able to speak to gods is through certain advanced, high evolved human beings. the earth is hollow and crawling with gigantic forms of life, consider doing the research. i have plentiful videos and books offering proof that this energy and this “shift” in human consciousness exists.

    Reply
  105. mason mendez -  June 22, 2011 - 5:37 am

    i do believe in ancestral logics, without facts. universal energy and love can bring anyone closer to the universal vibration of truth. then you wont need facts and evidence to call anything wrong. the truth is that we are all correct, we all have access to the answers only if we choose to ask the questions and pray. the energy that drives this galaxy and universe has everything to do with our earth and the way we affect history and create something based on truth. it all depends on how we choose to accept this golden age of enlightenment approaching us in 2012 we must use and create a limitless energy for ourselves to incorporate everlasting truth, love, humanity, ethics, and logic. we are born of the light, we were meant to evolve and transcend. not all of us are ready to accept the painful truth of our existence. but with my guidance i believe that i can show anyone the light if they are only willing to learn with an open mind. this would be nothing more than a sharing of high energies and knowledge. im writing a book at the moment, its called the golden age of awareness. my case is interesting, im 18 years old living with my mother, still not working, still not doing anything, and strangely i’ve been feeling these great vibrations fill my body with truth and give me many ideas and messages that have taken form of a virtuous force. i know that im a part of this virtue based force, and i believe it to be called the light. in my heart i feel this light inside of my inner purpose and self. surprisingly this outer culture largely and continually chooses to live in darkness; unconsciousness; a life of confusion. this life and point in history emphasizes power and control way too much. in many unfair and unequal ways, someone in this world found the power to divide this world. In the new reality, the new awareness, we are all one. this transformation is approaching us all quickly, the new age of spiritual enlightenment has come and unfortunately only some of us are going to recognize the changes and manifest enough power to permanently bridge heaven down to earth. the powerful new generations have come and the elders and the wise men are returning to earth, the earth is at a turning point in evolution along with the rest of life. time is about change and get a new makeover, that means we are now all going to be given the opportunity to experience the 5th dimension, a very special place. Not all are going to believe in the truth, but for those of you who are, and those of you who believe. i am with a great a purpose, the responsibility to assist mankind and give them the truth of reality. we are given the choice to live future life times and experience amazing lives. we live in a limitless universe, only you can dream up all of the newest discoveries and possibilities. we wont learn anything through science if we keep paradigm thinking. i read this once, and i do believe it to be true that in science, the older generations have control and power in preserving their ideas until their very last breaths. the newer much more spiritually enlightened generations are underway creating an army of light which was destined to end this dark age we are in. great things are going to start happening, and i only wish to those who seek love, that no one can ever judge for the path you choose. you will always have prayers being sent out for you, we are not truly alone in this life, in many different ways. please tell me what you think of my work?

    Reply
  106. Anders -  June 22, 2011 - 5:28 am

    This fits nicely with the fact that in Denmark, Norway and Sweden, Wednesday is called “onsdag”, which refer to “Odins dag” (Odin’s day).

    Reply
  107. Me -  June 22, 2011 - 5:12 am

    Read the BIBLE

    Reply
  108. joven u. cahilig -  June 22, 2011 - 5:04 am

    its truly odd.
    I do not understand whats the connection between the God Woden and wednesday.

    Reply
  109. aDisciple -  June 22, 2011 - 4:56 am

    Believe in Christianity, which is rich in history as fact.

    Reply
  110. The Observer -  June 22, 2011 - 4:52 am

    Totally pagan!

    Reply
  111. 2 gods -  June 22, 2011 - 4:48 am

    whats wrong with using the greek names these days!!!!!!!!!!!!! hermes sounds better then mercury!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Reply
  112. Avan -  June 22, 2011 - 4:46 am

    But the word Wednesday still comes from a single god’s name, right?

    And not all Romance languages are like this. Wednesday in Portuguese is called quarta (“fourth”), or quarta-feira, for reasons outside my knowledge (the Portuguese are too catholic to keep the ancient pagan gods’ names in their weekdays, maybe?).

    Reply
  113. Clark -  June 22, 2011 - 4:30 am

    WHAT? This doesn’t make any sense. Wed-Nes-Day, wheres Mercury? Wodin I could see I guess but what the heck are they saying about the making of te name from two gods?

    Usually I’m a fan but this is just weak. Did somebody mail this in?
    clark

    Reply
  114. Taofik -  June 22, 2011 - 4:13 am

    Don’t belive say without fact

    Reply
  115. rj -  June 22, 2011 - 4:04 am

    This doesn’t really explain how the name came about other than being related to Woden.

    Reply
  116. Beniamino -  June 22, 2011 - 4:02 am

    @ifyj: lolwut

    Also, I wonder how the word “Mercurial” came to mean “changeable”.

    Reply
  117. mm -  June 22, 2011 - 3:10 am

    .
    To me it seems no mix there – the English word is derived more from the Woden name – Woden’s day . Mercurius is the latin for Mercury, so the latin-based languages have the day name based on this one… though, between the gods Woden and Mercury there is no equivalence

    Reply
  118. Thor -  June 22, 2011 - 2:45 am

    Nice assay…now I have a better idea of wednsday…thank you.

    Reply
  119. ifyj -  June 21, 2011 - 11:27 pm

    i dnt beliv in ancestral logics without facts.

    Reply

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