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Wednesday (pronounced /ˈwɛnzdeɪ, ˈwɛnzdi/ ( listen)) is a day of the week in the Gregorian calendar. According to international standard ISO 8601, it is the third day of the week. This day is between Tuesday and Thursday. The name is derived from Old English Wōdnesdæg and Middle English Wodnesday, which means "Wōden's day".


Pagan etymology

The name comes from the Middle English Wednes dei, which is from Old English Wōdnesdæg, meaning the day of the English god Woden (Wodan), a god in Anglo-Saxon England until about the 7th century. Wēdnes dæg is like the Old Norse Oðinsdagr ("Odin's day"), which is an early translation of the Latin dies Mercurii ("Mercury's day"), and reflects the widespread association of Woden with Mercury going back to Tacitus.

In Romance languages, it is derived from the name of the Roman god Mercury: mercredi (French), mercoledì (Italian), miércoles (Spanish), miercuri (Romanian), dimecres (Catalan), Marcuri or Mercuri (Corsican), dies Mercurii (Latin). Similarly, in most of the Indian Languages the name for Wednesday, Budhavar is derived from the Vedic name for the planet, Budha (often confused with Gautama Buddha or Buddha.) Buddh is also used in Urdu.

Weekday etymology

Wednesday is in the middle of the common Western 5-day workweek that starts on Monday and finishes on Friday. Also, when Sunday is taken as the first of every week, Wednesday is the day in the middle. The German name for the day, Mittwoch (literally: "mid-week"), replaced the former name Wodanstag ("Wodan's day") in the tenth century. Most Slavic languages follow this pattern and use derivations of "the middle" (Bulgarian сряда sryada, Croatian srijeda, Czech středa, Macedonian среда sreda, Polish środa, Russian среда sredá, Serbian среда/sreda, Slovak streda, Slovene sreda, Ukrainian середа sereda). The Finnish name is Keskiviikko ("middle of the week"), as is the Icelandic name: Miðvikudagur, and the Faroese name: Mikudagur ("Mid-week day"). Some dialects of Faroese have Ónsdagur, though, which shares etymology with Wednesday.

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