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Days of the Week in Portuguese - Origin of the Names


Portuguese is the only romanic language in which all the days of the week have their origin in the Catholic liturgy. According to a widely accepted explanation, the change from pagan names to the current terms was initiated by Martinho de Dume, a sixth-century bishop of Braga, in what is Portugal today, and based on full observance of an Easter week.

Domingo (Sunday) has its origin in the Latin expression for the Day of the Lord. Saturday was named for the Hebrew word Shabbat. The other days, which mean second to sixth fair literally, would come from the Latin terms for “second day in which one shouldn’t work” (in observance of Easter week). Compare to the Portuguese word for vacation – férias.

Here's the list of the days of the week in Portuguese:

  • Domingo – Sunday
  • Segunda-feira – Monday
  • Terça-feira – Tuesday
  • Quarta-feira – Wednesday
  • Quinta-feira – Thursday
  • Sexta-feira – Friday
  • Sábado – Saturday

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