Friday, 22 April 2011

Good Friday

This is an off-topic entry.
Why is the Friday before Easter called Good Friday? There are at least two explanations offered in the literature:
Some authors say that it's a translation from Latin. There are sources in which the day is called "bonus dies Veneris". To call this day bonus = good can be made plausible by pointing to the fact that Christ was so good to mankind that he sacrificed himself. But what about "Veneris", which is the genitive case of Venus? The good day of Venus? (See comment below by @luke) Other authors assume that good is a corrupted form of God, the original expression being God's Day. Does any of my followers have a (more) plausible explanation?



    cf. the Good Book. Seems plausible enough to me.

  2. dies Veneris, by the way, is just Latin for Friday. Venus Day in Latin got calqued as Frigg Day (Friday) in Germanic.

  3. @luke: My command of Latin can obviously stand revision. Thanks for the translation

  4. My "Oxford Dictionary of English" (2005, 2nd edition, revised) says:

    Good Friday - from GOOD, in the sense 'holy, observed as a holy day'. (p.745)

    Happy Easter, Kraut!