Tuesday Is Named For A One-handed God Named Tiw

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.

Tiw’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 Northern European divinity.

Who is Tuesday named for?

To make a long story short, it seems that Tiw used to be a big shot, up there with Odin and Thor in Norse mythology. He may even have been chief of the gods. But culture can be fickle and cruel.

Nowadays it’s not clear who he was exactly, or how to pronounce his name. We just have hints.

But, there’s a lot to like about Tiw: He’s a war god, associated with courage and combat. He may have had a female companion named Zisa. And listen to how he lost his hand: There was a huge wolf named Fenrir, also called Fenris-wolf, who was prophesized 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 super leash called Gleipnir. “It was made of six things: the noise a cat makes in foot-fall, the beard of a woman, the roots of a rock, the sinews of a bear, the breath of a fish, and the spittle of a bird. And though thou understand not these matters already, yet now thou mayest speedily find certain proof herein, that no lie is told thee: thou must have seen that a woman has no beard, and no sound comes from the leap of a cat, and there are no roots under a rock.” (From the Prose Edda.)

Fenrir wouldn’t let the gods bind him with Gleipnir unless one of them stuck their hand in the wolf’s mouth. Only Tiw was brave enough to do it.

Snap! That’s how Tiw lost his hand. At least it earned him a day of the week, and you can think of that every time you’re wolfing down tacos on a Tuesdsay.


No bearded ladies here, only a goddess who became the namesake for Friday. Read more about her here

The Dictionary Is More Than The Word Of The Day

Enter your email for word fun in your inbox every day.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.