Weekday names in Italian

The Fascinating Origins of Italian Weekday Names

The names of the days of the week have ancient origins that stretch back through history. It all began with the Sumerians, who established the concept of time in months, based on the moon’s full cycle around the Earth. The Babylonians took this concept and expanded it into weeks, with seven days each. But why seven days? The Babylonians noticed that seven days approximated the time between different moon phases and matched the number of visible planets in the sky known to humans at the time: the Moon, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, Saturn, and the Sun.

When the Romans came into the picture, they decided to name the days of the week after the planets, or more accurately, after their gods.

Here are the Italian weekday names:

1. Monday – Lunedì
The Italian word “lunedì” is derived from the Latin “lunae dies,” meaning “day of the moon,” just as the word “moon” is reflected in “Monday.”

2. Tuesday – Martedì
“Martedì” comes from the Latin name “Martis dies,” which signifies the “day of Mars.”

3. Wednesday – Mercoledì
“Mercoledì” finds its roots in the Latin name “Mercurĭi dies,” representing the “day of Mercury.”

4. Thursday – Giovedì
The name “giovedì” is an ode to the Latin “Jove dies,” meaning the “day of Jove.” By Jove, indeed!

5. Friday – Venerdì
“Venerdì” is named after the Roman goddess “Veneris” and originates from the Latin term “Venĕris dies.”

6. Saturday – Sabato
“Sabato” traces its roots to the Latin word “sabbatum,” which, in turn, comes from the Hebrew word “shabbat,” signifying “sabbath” or the “seventh” day (the first day being Sunday).

7. Sunday – Domenica
The word “domenica” has remained virtually unchanged from its original Latin form, “domenica,” signifying the “day of God.”