Today is Wednesday.
Today is hump day.
When I first heard this term, like a good young boy, I wasn’t thinking about work, hard life, mountains or Sisyphus. None of these.
I thought of a secondary meaning (we’ll look at it later) of the verb ‘hump’, and applied it to the middle of the week.
A few decades passed until I heard it again, from the Irish fellas I was working with in kitchens around Utrecht; and again, various definitions for the word ‘hump’ emerged.
Once a chef, always a chef; once a good boy..
Back to the main point of this piece; Wednesday is the third day of the week, according to international standards. It is the third of a banking workweek. Although, in some muslim countries, or following the Hebrew calendar or in countries with the convention of Friday being the day-off, it is the fourth.
The name continues Middle English ‘Wednesdei
’, and the Old English ‘Wōdnesdæg
’ which means ‘day of Woden’. In the religion of the Anglo-Saxons, the god was worshipped for: “..most surviving information associates .. with wisdom, healing, death, royalty, the gallows, knowledge, war, battle, victory, sorcery, poetry, frenzy, and the runic alphabet, He is often depicted as the supreme Germanic god.” https://tinyurl.com/k72tcld
No wonder why he is in the middle.
Woden, a.k.a. Odin, son and heir of giants of the ancient worlds, father of Loki and Thor; and who knows who else.
Boyz will be boyz, I’m tellin’ ya’.
But again, let’s get back to the name of (today’s) game.
It originally derives from the Latin ‘dies Mercurii
’ (day of Mercury), relating both to the planet and the god, Mercurius. During the Roman era, Woden was depicted as ‘Germanic Mercury’, beginning in the 1st century by interpretatio Romana; in which Tacitus identified him as the chief god of the Germanic tribes. Wednesday is a (through time) modified calque or loan translation, which is a literal word-to-word or root-to-root translation.
In modern Romance languages, ‘dimecres
’ (Catalan), ‘miércoles
’ (Spanish), ‘mercredi
’ (French), ‘Mércuris
’ (Sardinian), the original meaning is preserved. In German it was superseded by ‘Mittwoch
’ (mid-week), unlike to Dutch (it is still called ‘Woensdag
Most Slavic languages followed the pattern of German - środa
(Russian) - using ‘the middle’ as root for the name. In Finnish it is Keskiviikko
(middle of the week).
In Portugese the word ‘quarta-feira’ means ‘fourth day’ while in Greek ‘Tetarti
’, in Hebrew ‘yohm rə-vee ee
’ and in‘Arabic ‘al'arbiea'
’ means ‘fourth’. In the Baltic states, ‘kolmapäev
’ (Estonian), ‘trečiadienis
’ (Lithuanian), ‘trešdiena
’ (Latvian) means ‘third day’; and in Mandarin Chinese ‘xīngqīsān
’ means ‘day three’.
In most languages spoken in India, the day is called 'Budhavāra
’. The word Budha in sanskrit connotes the planet Mercury, and is the name of a deity (associated with intelligence, communication, fine arts, humor and wit) in the Puranic Hindu tradition; not to be mistaken with Buddha (Awakened One), a historical person who acquired this name centuries after his death. Vāra means day.
In Japanese it is ‘sui yobi
’ (water day), reflecting ‘suisei
’ (water planet), Mercury. ‘Su yo il
’ in Korean also means ‘water day’.
In Persian ‘Chahār-shanbeh
’ means ‘fourth day’; in Armenian (chorekshabti
), Georgian (otkhshabati
), Turkish (Çarşamba
) and Tajik (Chorshanbiyev
) the word literally means ‘four (days) from Saturday’.
In Hungarian ‘szerda
’ is derived from the Slavic root ‘sreda’.
The following is an excerpt of the article ‘hump day’ on Grammarist:
‘Hump day is an idiom that means Wednesday, a day of the week. The term hump day first appeared in the 1960s in North America, most probably in business offices. Hump day is based on the idea that the work week is a mountain one must climb. ... Wednesday in the middle, or at the peak or hump of the work week. Monday and Tuesday are the “climbing” days of the week, and are therefore psychologically difficult to get through. Wednesday is the highest part of this climb up a proverbial mountain. The thinking goes that if one can make it to hump day, then Thursday and Friday are an easy slide into the weekend.'
- to carry or lift something heavy with difficulty /informal/
- to have sex (with someone) /offensive/
I do like weekends. But if I had ever been seriously dreaming about a job, I would have only had one wish: to love what I do. As fortunate as I am, it is the second time in my life I’ve found a vocation, which also puts the food on the table. So in my case, I do want the weekend to be here now but at the same time I like that it’s not here yet. Maybe tomorrow afternoon I’ll be a little more grumpy.
Where am I going with this?
I started to write about the third day of the week (ISO 8601), and a dream and a wish later I am thinking of a work attitude, constant development at a sustainable pace, competency and fulfillness. I'd like to share this article about having Friday as a ‘bonus day’ from Kat Boogaard: https://tinyurl.com/y74ycnx5
Regarding the peak of the workweek, her suggestion is to have it a day later.
Of course she doesn’t mean, having a lazy Friday then. It’s more like having enough time and energy to have a creatively constructive one.
If you take a contest, a race for instance, is it in the middle of it when you can ease up? You may catch your breath for a moment, but take swimming as an example. After the turn it’s better to speed up.(Actually it is better not to breathe after passing the “T” on the bottom of the pool until touching the wall and turning, breathe out when pushing off the wall and breathe in after arriving at the surface of the water, at full speed.)
I guess it is my attitude towards my own objective, where I was going.
Which now is to have that shiny-creative Friday. So no siestafiesta for me for today or tomorrow.
And for the sake of honesty, I do feel the relief now, with three days of five nearly done; I do like the idiom ‘hump day’.
It is the day of water, in the season of Lent, two thousand and twenty corona and I should get ready for supper.