Words for Granted
About This Show
Words for Granted is a podcast that looks at how words change over time. Host Ray Belli uses language--more specifically, individual words--as a way of making connections among history, culture, religion, and society.
Most Recent Episode
Episode 32: Wednesday
In Old English, the word for "Wednesday" was Wodnesdaeg, which literally meant "Woden's day." It comes from a loan translation of the Latin dies mercurii, which literally meant "day of Mercury," because Woden was the Germanic god associated with the Roman god mercury. This much is for certain. But how did the /o/ in Wodnesdaeg shift to the /e/ in "Wednesday?" This is a bit of a linguistic mystery, and we discuss some of the possibilities.