Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Welcome to Mittwoch

Wednesday is a silly name for a day of the week. Why do we even CALL it Wednesday - what does it mean?

The derivation of Wednesday, according to "," is as follows:

The name comes from the Middle English Wednes dei, which is from Old English Wēdnes dæg, meaning the day of the Germanic god Woden (Wodan) who was a god of the Anglo-Saxons in England until about the 7th century.

Sure it is, because naming days after gods is so very relevant now. We have the Romans to blame for this, you know. They started it what with the naming of days after gods who were also busy putting their names on planets and the like, and also we can blame the ancient English because those ancient forebears of our language did as the Romans did only subverted the Roman gods to ones that were more germane to the serfs, we now have a day of the week named after a German god that's been translated to Olde Englishe, then Middle English, and now Modern English, which, even with all the translating going on, turns out to be not really English at all, is it?

To make matters more confusing, Germans went and CHANGED the name of their Wednesday to make it easier for them to remember and spell! To wit:

When Sunday is taken as the first of the week, the day in the middle of each week is Wednesday. Arising from this, the German name for Wednesday has been Mittwoch (literally: "mid-week") since the 10th Century, having displaced the former name: Wodanstag ("Wodan's day").

Read it again, and please note that the Germans, who got the bizarre naming convention from the Romans, CHANGED the name of the week in the 10th century to something a little more understandable and chronologically reasonable.

The TENTH century. Even THEY thought it was too silly a name to retain a thousand years ago!

Therefore, I ask you all: Can't we please take up the challenge to re-name the hard-to-spell and nearly meaningless Wednesday to "Midweek?

Next up - my rant against the misspelling of February.


I'm not really convinced that totally vetts their information. Take this little snippet from the "Wednesday" page:

Another popular tradition in the United States is to wear a sweater vest on this mid-week business day. This has led Wednesday to be referred to as Vestday.

WTF? VEST DAY? Who an earth has vest day at the office? Popular tradition? In what part of the United States is this 'popular tradition' observed? I have never heard of Vest Day, and I've been in corporate American business since 1990, certainly a long enough span of time to have been notified of this great American tradition.

Is this something I'm missing out on? Should I have been wearing a sweater vest all this time? Or maybe just a vest - the sweater thing may have been inserted by a hopeful nerd, after all. Can it be of any material? Would a bustier serve just as well? Yeah, THAT would be a good look. I could get behind this idea, actually. People don't wear enough vests these days. Something brocade, perhaps, or tartan. A flashy bit of vestly show for the Mittwoch celebrations.

Hey now, I wonder if Wodan/Odin wore a vest? Now THAT would be a neat lil' happenstance, wouldn't it?

Hmmm.....looking at this picture of Wodan that I found on the internets, it seems that the togs he favored, while not what we modern folks would deem to be vest-al in nature, most certainly are close enough to make an argument for the connection between vest day and Wodenstag.

Ye gods! We have reached serendipity! It all makes SENSE now!

Forget "Midweek." I'm voting now to re-name this day Vestday. Won't you join me?

Have a great VestDay, y'all. Hump it like a pro.

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