Word of the Week: Sunday

Sunday is a noun and defined as the first day of the week. First used before the 12th century, Sunday is one of the many words in the English language that has its roots in Norse mythology. 

Interestingly, the days of the week in the English language derive from Norse mythology, unlike the days of the week in the Romance Languages, which derive from Roman mythology. This divergence is often referred to as interpretatio germanica and describes how the Germanic peoples identified and adapted Roman gods with the names of Germanic deities. According to historians, this transition occurred when both cultures came into contact around the 1st century AD.

Sunday derives from the Nordic goddess of the sun Sól, which means sun. In Latin the first day of the week also comes from a derivative of the word Sol, dies solis. However, in modern Romance languages, the word for Sunday doesn’t translate to Sun’s day but to the Lord’s day, and in Italian and Spanish the word for the first day of the week is domenica and domingo, respectively. 

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Sources
Viking Ship Museum in RoskildeKeeping Time: Origins of the Days of the Week
Saturday Special
“Sunday.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary

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