Days of the week in Nagoya

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In "Hybrid writing in East Village, New York" (9/1/16), we looked at the playful combination of a Chinese character with Roman letters in the name of a Korean-Japanese restaurant, 木hursday, and we expanded our field of vision to encompass the names of the days of the week in languages across Eurasia.

Now Nathan Hopson takes us to Nagoya, Japan, where he spotted this fascinating take on the days of the week at Uni Mall, one of Nagoya's underground malls radiating off from the railway station.

Nathan explains:

The photo is from Golden Hamburg, a steakhouse of sorts (specializing, I assume, in hamburg steak) that appears to be a small national chain. It shows the weekday lunch du jour. In katakana, the menu is:

M Japanese Hamburg (w/ daikon and yuzu)
T California Hamburg (w/ lemon cream)
W Texas Hamburg (w/ bacon and lettuce)
R Hawaiian Hamburg (w/ pineapple and red bell pepper)
F Kentucky Hamburg (w/ spicy chicken)

Of course, my interest is less in the menu — not least because I don't eat meat — and more in the creative destruction of the days of the week.

Monday is, by coincidence it turns out, just fine.

From Tuesday on, it gets sketchier and sketchier…

By combining the abbreviations (Mon, Tue, etc.) with the suffix -day, this sign manages to create such temporal neologisms as: WED DAY (Wedday?) and THU DAY (Thuday?).

And with typical flair, the ambivalence is brought to new heights with FRY DAY, which does not feature any more frying than any other day.

But once again, it's the creative misapplication and combination of English that fascinates.

Mon, Tue, Wed, Thu are all correct. Even Fry is, well, close.

However, the choice to recombine the abbreviations with the original suffixes — presumably a matter of design as much as anything else — is what produces the fun.

Retail is so rich with linguistic thaumaturgy.

Nathan lives, works, and plays in a land of linguistic legerdemain.


  1. TheStrawMan said,

    September 3, 2016 @ 7:55 pm

    Fry Day has fried chicken on the hamburger

  2. Jerry Friedman said,

    September 4, 2016 @ 5:55 pm

    TheStrawMan: Now if there were foods called mon, tue, etc., that they could put on burgers, they'd be cooking with gas.

  3. david said,

    September 4, 2016 @ 7:36 pm

    Perhaps Fry day is a reference to Kentucky Fry as the katakana also suggests.

  4. BZ said,

    September 6, 2016 @ 10:37 am

    I suppose you can abbreviate "Friday" as "Fry". After all, all the letters are contained in the full name. The problem (aside from the fact that it's not an established abbreviation) is that "fry" is already a word that has a meaning, thus causing confusion.

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