In today's episode, we begin our investigation of the etymologies of each day of the week. Both Monday and Tuesday are ultimately loan translations of the Latin words dies lunae (Luna's day) and dies martis (Mars's day). Luna, the Roman moon goddess, was identified with Mani, the Germanic moon god; Mars, the Roman god of war, was identified with Tiw, the chief deity in the original Germanic pantheon. But that's just scratching the surface. Both ‘Monday’ and ‘Tuesday’ contain unexpected stories that reveal to us the cultures of our linguistic ancestors.
The days of the week are part of the core vocabulary of any language. In English, their etymologies are rooted in ancient pagan mythologies. In this episode, we trace the history of our modern calendar back to ancient Rome. As the seven-day week was transmitted from the Romans to the Germanic tribes that would eventually produce the English language, a series of loan-translations took place.