The Origins of Hump Day 

The Origins of Hump Day 

Have you ever wondered about the origins of certain words and their meanings? The study of which is called Etymology, the study of the origin of words and the way in which their meanings have changed throughout history.

One of my favorite things to say is “It is all downhill from here!”. This saying can have many different meanings depending on the context. But mostly, it means that things get simpler after you accomplish the hardest tasks.

The days of the week all have certain intrinsic meanings to us. From the hellish beginnings of Monday to the overwhelming gratification of freedom Fridays. What ever your favorite day is, there is one day that I think we all enjoy equally. That is Wednesday! Or better known in Western culture as Hump Day!

The term “hump day” actually became popular in the 1960s after gaining popularity from indirect correlations from a 1945 John Steinbeck novel, Sweet Thursday.

Now, this brings me right back to one of my favorite sayings, “It is all downhill from here”. Essentially that is what Humpday means, at least to me. Although, did you know that this nickname also has a similar context to the true origins of the word Wednesday?

As per Wikipedia

From Middle English WednesdayWednesdaiWodnesdei, from Old English wōdnesdæġ (“Wednesday”), from Proto-Germanic *Wōdanas dagaz, a calque (interpretātiō germānica) of Latin dies Mercurii (“day of Mercury”) and Koine Ancient Greek ἡμέρα (hēméra, “day”) Ἑρμοῦ (Hermoû, “of Hermes”), via an association of the god Odin (Woden) with Mercury and Hermes.

Cognate with West Frisian woansdei (“Wednesday”), Dutch woensdag (“Wednesday”), Dutch Low Saxon woonsdag (“Wednesday”), dialectal German Wodenstag (“Wednesday”), Danish onsdag (“Wednesday”), Norwegian Bokmål onsdag (“Wednesday”), Swedish onsdag (“Wednesday”). (https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Wednesday#English)

Then…

The Old Norse theonym Óðinn (popularly anglicised as Odin) and its cognates, including Old English WōdenOld Saxon Wōden, and Old High German Wuotan, derive from the reconstructed Proto-Germanic theonym *wōđanaz. The masculine noun *wōđanaz developed from the Proto-Germanic adjective *wōđaz, related to Latin vātēs and Old Irish fáith, both meaning ‘seer, prophet‘. Adjectives stemming from *wōđaz include Gothic 𐍅𐍉𐌳𐍃 (wods)[2] ‘possessed’, Old Norse óðr, ‘mad, frantic, furious’, and Old English wōd ‘mad’.[3] (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Odin)

Taking the Proto-Germanic adjective of wōđaz, we see that the origins of the word Wednesday derive from the a word meaning seer, prophet. This is interesting, because as we read above it also directs to possessed, mad, frantic.

Now let’s realistically think about Wednesday. What emotions can we actually say we have experienced on Wednesdays?

Have you ever been frantic, mad and crazy on Wednesday? I know I have, especially when I am waiting for Friday! So what about the definition of seer and prophet? Well what happens when you get to the top of the hump? You can see all the way to the bottom. You can see exactly how to get to Friday! Like I said, “It is all downhill from here”.

So what is Wednesday about here at Stuff You know You Want? Our Wednesday products are a selection brought about on things that usually come to mind on the middle of the week in anticipation for the glorious weekend.

Relaxing outside on the nice hot Saturday? Well how about a 4000 Volt Bug Zapper! Yeah that will show those damn Mosquitoes from messing with your sweaty ankles! Or maybe you are entertaining friends? How about a sweet stealth black Ninja Knife Block! Nothing says I enjoy my weekend BBQ’s like cutting that meat with a miniature katana!

Whatever it is you decide to splurge on this Wednesday, just make sure it prepares you for this weekend! Look at it as the little mid-week gift to yourself for all the hard work you did!

Comment

  • You can definitely see your expertise in the work you write. The world hopes for more passionate writers like you who are not afraid to say how they believe. Always follow your heart.

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    Reply

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