Re: Why not 13 months? (Was La Systeme Metrique)

Jack Fertig (
18 Oct 1995 15:48:49 GMT (Andrew Cooke) wrote:
>In article <45md7g$>,
>Kevin Anthony Scaldeferri <> wrote:
>>Sunday Sun Sun works
>>Monday Moon Moon also works
>>Tues Mars ??
>>Weds Mercury Odin This one doesn't seems to
>>Thurs Jupiter Thor same
>>Fri Venus Frigga(?) I don't know
>>Sat Saturn ??
> friday is named after the wife of odin, freia, if i remember
> correctly. something to do with norse mythology(?).
> tuesday is `martes' in spanish, which looks like mars. could
> the english be from the end of this?! friday in spanish is
> `viernes' which looks more like venus. wednesday is miercoles
> which checks with mercury. again, like friday, this seems to
> be connected with norse legends in english - was odin also
> called woden?
> andrew
> monday - lunes - moon
> tuesday - martes - mars
> wednedsay - miercoles - mercury
> thursday - jueves - ? (maybe jovian - jupiter)
> friday - viernes - venus
> saturday - sabado - saturn
> sunday - domino - looks like the catholic church got in here... :-)
> (are those all roman names for gods? spanish does have some
> greek words, but they tend to be unusual)

Tuesday is from the Norse Tiu, who was rather like Mars.
"Jueves" is indeed from Jove.
"Sabado" is a relic of the Renaissance when there was a wonderful
community of Jews in Spain observing the Sabbath on Saturday. This also
happened in Russia where the day is "Subotta" In Latin it is indeed
Saturn's Day. The French "Samedi" is apparently of that origin, too.
"Domingo" is indeed a church influence. In classical Latin it was "Dies
Solis" the Sun's day, before Christians turned it to "The Lord's Day"

Interestingly in Japanese the correspondences also hold up to some extent
but reflect through the traditional five elements (In the west we know
four; in the East they use five)

English Planet Spanish Japanese Translation of Japanese

Sunday Sun Domingo Nichiyoobi Sun-day of the week
Monday Moon Lunes Gatsuyoobi Moon- "
Tuesday Mars Martes Kayoobi Fire "
Wednesday Mercury Miercoles Shuiyoobi Water "
Thursday Jupiter Jueves Mokuyoobi Wood "
Friday Venus Viernes Kinyoobi Metal (gold) "
Saturday Saturn Sabado Dooyoobi Earth "

The match of elements to planets/gods is quite consistent. But (although
I'm not absolutely certain of this) it's a fair bet that the weekdays now
in use in Japan were introduced by westerners, and the names were created
to fit the western calendar from within a Japanese cultural view.
(for those of you who want to pronounce the Japanese transliterations
I've offered, "G" is always hard "Gats..." as in Great Gatsby" and the
"oo" is a long "o" as in "toe". the vowels are nearly the same as in
Italian or Spanish although "u" varies and is often a "schwa", that is to
say almost not pronounced at all. (As in Mokuyoobi and Getsuyoobi)
(Also remember that when you order sukiyaki!)