We owe it to the Britains who were introduced to the seven-day week by Norsemen, or North Men who we would plainly call today, Angles, Jutes and Saxons who landed in Kent and Sussex. The Vikings came south in search of good land and weather and, when confronted with a tribe or group they couldn’t displace easily, made friends rather than take over. The Britains were kind and in great number and in a give and take spirit, the men from the north taught the Britains their week. Sun, Moon, Tys, Woden, Thor, Freida and Wash Day.
Sun and Moon are easy to follow and the spelling of each wanders a little here and there but Sunday and Monday are the result. Ty’s-Day was after their God of War, Ty, equal to the Roman’s god, Mars. Following Woden was Thor’s-Day, likely considered their god of nature and natural powers like thunder. Freida is thought to hail from Finnish beliefs – another group of North Men but not direct to Danes; so when Danes encountered these strong Finnish tribes, they adapted instead of conquering and got the Goddess of Beauty, Freida, for Freida’s-Day.
Most amusingly was Wash Day (the very word the Norse Men offered is lost). It was as it sounds, a reminder that one must wash. The Britains, who washed with more frequency, politely declined the name change and stuck with their tribute to Saturn, giving us Saturday.
Woden underwent a name change to Odin. While Odin was a popular spelling, Woden was traditional and religious and Woden’s-Day was the day for the king of gods. The Britains received these names almost sixteen-hundred years ago! The religion goes deeper and longer with Woden replacing beliefs centered on Baal but evermore, both religious beliefs have survived in ways we take for granted, and that’s why there’s a “D” in Wednesday!