Why does English use "Sunday" instead of "Lord's Day"?

In our civil calendar week, why wasn't Sunday renamed by Christians in English?

Discuss various aspects of natural language.

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Why does English use "Sunday" instead of "Lord's Day"?

#1  Postby CIS » Oct 08, 2011 6:57 pm

English is one of the few modern western languages that retains the original pagan "sun's day" for the 7th day of the week. Thanks to a lack of drive to rename it (I guess?), we don't call tomorrow Lord's Day (or some bastardization/hybrid like "Lordsday" or "Lorday", or using the Latin term, "Dominiday" or "Domiday").

- In French — "Dimanche", originally Soldi
- In Spanish — "Domingo", originally Dia del sol

All deriving from the Latin word for Lord/God: Dominicus (seen in the abbreviation AD).

Does anyone know if a Christian replacement for Sunday was ever pushed circa the Middle Ages? It's ironic because the reverse is true with the AD/BC acronyms. English retains the Latin "Anno Domini", but French uses simply "apr. J-C", meaning simply "after Jesus Christ".
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Re: Why does English use "Sunday" instead of "Lord's Day"?

#2  Postby Wiðercora » Oct 08, 2011 7:20 pm

A lot of Northern European languages seem use Sunday instead of God's Day. German, Dutch, Danish, Icelandic, Finnish, Swedish, Welsh, Norwegian (the translator runs out after that). Maybe it's a Northern thing.
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Re: Why does English use "Sunday" instead of "Lord's Day"?

#3  Postby Mazille » Oct 08, 2011 7:25 pm

CIS wrote:English is one of the few modern western languages that retains the original pagan "sun's day" for the 7th day of the week.

That and every other Germanic language. And Nordic languages, for that matter.
German = Sonntag
Dutch = zondag
Afrikaans = Sondag
Norwegian = søndag
etc.

Edit: Damn. Got ninja'd.
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Re: Why does English use "Sunday" instead of "Lord's Day"?

#4  Postby CIS » Oct 08, 2011 7:40 pm

Wiðercora wrote: Maybe it's a Northern thing.

Hmm, yes, seemingly. It's interesting because the languages that use Lord's Day still use pagan names for the remaining days of the week... sometimes the Roman gods, sometimes the Norse gods, and sometimes a mixture of both. English uses mostly Norse gods with the exception of Saturn for Saturday, but that day itself may have been directly named for the planet instead of the god.
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Re: Why does English use "Sunday" instead of "Lord's Day"?

#5  Postby Regina » Oct 08, 2011 7:51 pm

CIS wrote:
Wiðercora wrote: Maybe it's a Northern thing.

Hmm, yes, seemingly. It's interesting because the languages that use Lord's Day still use pagan names for the remaining days of the week... sometimes the Roman gods, sometimes the Norse gods, and sometimes a mixture of both. English uses mostly Norse gods with the exception of Saturn for Saturday, but that day itself may have been directly named for the planet instead of the god.

I think it's called "covering all bases"...
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Re: Why does English use "Sunday" instead of "Lord's Day"?

#6  Postby monkeyboy » Oct 08, 2011 7:51 pm

I'm pretty sure all our days are named for pagan gods or objects of worship.

Monday- Moon day
Tuesday -Escapes me for the moment.
Wednesday- Woden's day
Thursday- Thor's day
Friday- Freya's day
Saturday- Saturn's day
Sunday- kind of obvious really.

I like that we've stuck to the old ways rather than pander to Xian nonesense.
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Re: Why does English use "Sunday" instead of "Lord's Day"?

#7  Postby Mazille » Oct 08, 2011 7:55 pm

monkeyboy wrote:
Tuesday -Escapes me for the moment.

From "Tiu's Day". A Germanic god of war.

Funnily enough, in German for example it's Dienstag, which almost makes it sound like it's derived from "Dienst", meaning service and still many people understand it that way.
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Re: Why does English use "Sunday" instead of "Lord's Day"?

#8  Postby Weaver » Oct 08, 2011 7:57 pm

Tuesday is from the Norse god Tyr, which got changed to the Germanic god Tiu.
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Re: Why does English use "Sunday" instead of "Lord's Day"?

#9  Postby Mazille » Oct 08, 2011 8:01 pm

I think it was the other way round. Isn't Tyr supposed to be the Germanic/Norse form of the Proto-Germanic Tiu?
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Re: Why does English use "Sunday" instead of "Lord's Day"?

#10  Postby Wiðercora » Oct 08, 2011 8:04 pm

Isn't Friday named after Frig? Frig day. Wow, that's...yeah.
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Re: Why does English use "Sunday" instead of "Lord's Day"?

#11  Postby Weaver » Oct 08, 2011 8:15 pm

Mazille wrote:I think it was the other way round. Isn't Tyr supposed to be the Germanic/Norse form of the Proto-Germanic Tiu?

Could be ...
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Re: Why does English use "Sunday" instead of "Lord's Day"?

#12  Postby Clive Durdle » Oct 08, 2011 8:17 pm

Months....

and did someone say "pagan", that xian term of contempt? True gods please!
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Re: Why does English use "Sunday" instead of "Lord's Day"?

#13  Postby Mazille » Oct 08, 2011 8:21 pm

Weaver wrote:
Mazille wrote:I think it was the other way round. Isn't Tyr supposed to be the Germanic/Norse form of the Proto-Germanic Tiu?

Could be ...

Well, I know Tyr is Norse/Germanic, but really, the boundaries are very fluent in all of this. I couldn't vouch for it. In any case, one is the predecessor of the other, so the point stands.
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Re: Why does English use "Sunday" instead of "Lord's Day"?

#14  Postby The_Metatron » Oct 08, 2011 8:34 pm

Must be because the Christian god sucks. Not even worthy of a single day namesake...
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Re: Why does English use "Sunday" instead of "Lord's Day"?

#15  Postby Clive Durdle » Oct 08, 2011 8:46 pm

Is Christ Mass the only reference?
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Re: Why does English use "Sunday" instead of "Lord's Day"?

#16  Postby Kuia » Oct 08, 2011 9:15 pm

monkeyboy wrote:I'm pretty sure all our days are named for pagan gods or objects of worship. Monday- Moon day Tuesday -Escapes me for the moment. Wednesday- Woden's day Thursday- Thor's day Friday- Freya's day Saturday- Saturn's day Sunday- kind of obvious really. I like that we've stuck to the old waysnonsense rather than pander to Xian nonesense.
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Re: Why does English use "Sunday" instead of "Lord's Day"?

#17  Postby JoeB » Oct 08, 2011 9:20 pm

It's because the sun shines a lot less in northen europe. You southern sunlovers have all the sun you want :(
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Re: Why does English use "Sunday" instead of "Lord's Day"?

#18  Postby Regina » Oct 08, 2011 9:34 pm

Nah, it doesn't shine less. Just a few more clouds is all.
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Re: Why does English use "Sunday" instead of "Lord's Day"?

#19  Postby akigr8 » Oct 08, 2011 10:22 pm

Norwegian translated the days are:

Moon day
Tyr's day
Odin's day
Thor's day
Freya's day
Washing day
Sun day

The same are for the rest of the Nordic countries I would guess.
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Re: Why does English use "Sunday" instead of "Lord's Day"?

#20  Postby Mazille » Oct 08, 2011 10:52 pm

Washing day? That's cute. :)
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