WATCH: Where Did The Days Of The Week Get Their Names?
Yes, it’s true, there’s a wild story behind the god who lends his name to Tuesday: Tiu, also sometimes spelled Tiw.
Tiu’s remarkable myth even involves women with beards (more on that in a bit). But, the past 1,000 years or so have not been kind to this Germanic divinity.
Who is Tuesday named for?
The names of the days of the week were modeled after the Latin names. The Latin days of the week were named after planets, which were named after gods. The Latin for Tuesday was diēs Mārtis, “Mars’s day,” with Mars being the Roman god of war. And so the Anglo-Saxons swapped out Mars for their Germanic counterparts—in Old English that was Tiu, yielding Tuesday.
Tiu is the analog to the Norse Tyr, who was a big shot—and well-stored. Listen to how he lost his hand: There was a huge wolf named Fenrir, who was prophesied to eventually kill Odin, king of the gods. Understandably, the gods decided to restrain the beast while he was still growing.
Fenrir kept breaking his tethers, so the gods asked the dwarves to use their magic to craft a massive chain leash called Gleipnir. It was made of some impossible and unlikely elements, including the sound of cat’s footfall, a woman’s beard, the root’s of a mountain, bear sinews, fish breath, and bird spittle.
Fenrir wouldn’t let the gods bind him with Gleipnir unless one of them stuck their hand in the wolf’s mouth. Only Tyr was brave enough to do it.
Snap! That’s how Tyr lost his hand. Think of that every time you’re wolfing down tacos on a Tuesday.