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 Hello word lovers!

Why do we call it a weekend when it is clearly made up of the 7th and the 1st day of the week? When and where did this word come into use? Is it the same in other countries (besides the US?)

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Probably because Sunday feels like recovery day after all the exertions.  Monday is more like the first day of the week.  For college students, weekend starts about late Wednesday, no?

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Below is what the OxED says. Note: it was not always 2 days long.


a. The period between two working weeks, typically regarded as a time for leisure or recreation. Also with distinguishing word indicating an activity pursued during this period.
The usual sense.

Since the advent of the five-day working week, the weekend has usually been characterized as extending from Saturday morning or Friday evening until Sunday night. During the late 19th century, a British worker’s leisure period often began on Saturday at noon.

1793 W. B. Stevens Jrnl. 27 Feb. (1965) i. 70 Wrote to Dewe that I would put on my seven league boots next weekend and stretch my course to Appleby.

1844 Age & Argus 13 Apr. 2/3, I am not one of those who think that Almighty God ever designed that human beings should be employed from morn to night—from week end to week end.

1870 Food Jrnl. 1 Mar. 97 ‘Week-end’, that is from Saturday until Monday,—it may be a later day in the week if the money and credit hold out,—is the season of dissipation.

1879 Notes & Queries 5th Ser. 12 428/2 In Staffordshire, if a person leaves home at the end of his week’s work on the Saturday afternoon to spend the evening of Saturday and the following Sunday with friends at a distance, he is said to be spending his week-end at So-and-so.

1905 Spectator 26 Aug. 289/1 What a ‘week-end’ it must have been for the host, whatever it may have been for the guest.

1920 T. S. Eliot Let. Sept. (1988) I. 406, I should have written to Violet to say how much I enjoyed the weekend. We must not let our theatricals drop!

1937 Times 26 Nov. 21/5 The letter began with old Lady Chervil’s unvarying formula:—My dear Mrs. Miniver, Chervil and I shall be delighted if you and your Husband will stay with us from Friday 19th to Monday 22nd November. (She would have gone to the guillotine sooner than use the expression ‘week-end’.

1958 P. Marris Widows & their Families ii. 12 One of the things I miss most is our camping weekends. I used to be as happy as a sandboy.

1996 H. Fielding Bridget Jones’s Diary (1997) 67 Message Jones… Have a good weekend. Pip pip.

2005 J. McKinney California’s National Parks 306 Sometimes 5000 Southlanders a weekend would come to swim, fish, picnic and enjoy the amusement rides.

Ron Draney
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I’ve always justified it (when dealing with people whose calendars start the week on Monday, for example) by pointing out that a rope has two ends, and no two parts of the rope are farther apart than the ends.

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