Norse Gods & Your Week: Friday

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That is what TGIF stands for, right?

Ah, Friday!

In addition to ushering in the glorious, glorious weekend, Friday is the only week day named for a woman in Germanic and Romance languages.

Yup. Yet another area where equal gender representation is an issue.

In the Romance languages (at least in French, Italian, and Spanish) Friday is named for Venus.

birth of venus
Naked chick on a clamshell? That’s her!

In English.. well, Friday’s a bit harder to pin down.

The Easy Answer: Frigga

Friday is Frigga’s Day.

Frigga
T.G.I.Frigga

The Norse goddess Frigga, or Frigg, is the wife of Odin (although she’s not the mother of Thor). According to the Eddas, Frigga has the power of prophecy but can’t tell anyone what she foresees.

Possibly the worst super power ever.

She’s also associated with all sorts of womanly things, like weaving, marriage, and love. And, hey, Friday!

The More Complicated Answer

It’s not entirely clear if Friday actually refers to Frigga, or to Freya. Wikipedia breaks this down nicely here, so I won’t repeat it.

Frigga is the wife of Odin, and one of the Ӕsir.

Freya is the wife of Óð, and one of the Vanir, the sometimes-friends, sometimes-rivals of the Ӕsir. Freya is also associated with all sorts of womanly things, like love, sex, beauty, and choosing who dies in battle.

To complicate things even further, some scholars believe Frigga and Freya were once the same deity. There’s a nice article about this idea here, but it’s worth noting this is still a matter of lively debate.

Well, in some circles, anyway.

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Not these circles

Want more Norse gods?

Check out the Norse origins of Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday.

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