Day of the Week Poem: Your Child’s Personality (2022)

Can the day of the week your child was born on predict what type of person they will be? 

Yes, according to the traditional nursery rhyme “Monday’s Child” and many different versions of it that have been published throughout the generations.

Human beings have tried to act as fortune tellers for a long time, predicting a child’s personality based on their astrological sign, location of their birth, and more.

There are records from as early as the 15th century of soothsayers offering up prophecies based on the days of the week.

One of the oldest and most well-known nursery rhymes is entitled “Monday’s Child”. It’s a days of the week poem that serves as a fortune-telling song. It claims to predict a child’s character and their future, all from the day of the week they were born.

Was it simply a song from Mother Goose to help children learn the day of the week? Or is there something more to it?


Modern Days of the Week Song

Here is a modern poem that children use to learn the Day of the Week
(Sung to the tune of the Addams Family song):

Days of the Week (snap, snap)
Days of the Week (snap, snap)
Days of the Week, Days of the Week, Days of the Week! (snap, snap)

There’s Sunday and there’s Monday
There’s Tuesday and there’s Wednesday
There’s Thursday and there’s Friday
And then there’s Saturday!

Days of the Week (snap, snap)
Days of the Week (snap, snap)
Days of the Week, Days of the Week, Days of the Week! (snap, snap)


First, to find out what day of the week you or your someone you love was born, you can use this handy Day of the Week Calculator that uses Zeller’s Algorithm: https://www.mathsisfun.com/games/dayofweek.html

Next, you can read the traditional nursery rhyme, which was published for the first time in “Traditions of Devonshire”* by A.E. Bray in 1838.

Monday’s Child Poem:

Monday’s child is fair of face 

Tuesday’s child is full of grace

Wednesday’s child is full of woe

Thursday’s child has far to go

Friday’s child is loving and giving

Saturday’s child works hard for his living

And the child that is born on the Sabbath day

Is bonny and blithe, and good and gay.

-Traditions of Devonshire by A.E. Bray (1838) Volume II, pp 287-288

It’s just a short poem, but it has had a huge impact on parents through the generations, hoping to gain some insight into the future that beholds their precious child.

Let’s analyze each type of child, day by day. 

Monday’s Child

“Monday’s child is fair of face.” 

In almost all versions of the poem, children born on Monday are associated with attractiveness and beauty. To be “fair of face” means to have a face that is lovely to look upon. Throughout the years, children born on a Monday have been thought of as undeniably beautiful. (At least by their parents!)

Of course, there are some readers who will interpret this negatively, fearing that their child is fated to be shallow, vain, and flightly.

Because of the association of Monday’s child being cute and adorable, “Monday’s Child” has been a popular choice of name for modern children’s clothing boutiques.

A different variation of the poem (listed below in the Variations section) says that Monday’s Child is “full in the face”. This line could perhaps indicate a child who is in good health and who will have good luck in life. 

By contrast, “full in the face” could indicate a greedy or gluttonous child.

Tuesday’s Child

“Tuesday’s child is full of grace.”

Children born on a Tuesday are typically associated with good manners, grace, refinement and elegance. They are considered courteous and full of good will.

Other variations of the poem list Tuesday’s Child more specifically as “Full of God’s grace”, indicating that they will be faithful and religious, lit up and animated by God’s grace, and that God will work through them throughout their lives. 

There is a popular contemporary Christian song by Curtis Chapman called “Tuesday’s Child”. In this song, he interprets the meaning of Tuesday’s Child’s as having a strong faith in God. 

Here are the lyrics from the song:

Just when I thought I was strong

 Another weak day comes along

 And all my righteousness goes wrong

 But I was doing so well

 My dreams to be a Godly man

 Seem out of reach of my own hand

 But where I fall short, His grace still stands

 If I have faith like a child

 And if Monday’s child is fair of face

 And Tuesday’s child is full of grace

 Then you can call me Tuesday’s child

 Like Wednesday’s child, I’m full of woe

 And Thursday’s child I’ve got far to go

 But you can call me Tuesday’s child

 Sounds too easy some might say

 There’s a bigger price to pay

 But when Jesus have His life away

 It was once and for all

 So with more of His grace filling me

 I more than ever want to be

 Growing up in purity

 With the faith of a child

 And if Monday’s child is fair of face

 And Tuesday’s child is full of grace

 Then you can call me Tuesday’s child

 Like Wednesday’s child, I’m full of woe

 And Thursday’s child I’ve got far to go

 But you can call me Tuesday’s child

 That’s what I want to be

 Full of His grace for me

 Knowing He’s all I need

 And if Monday’s child is fair of face

 And Tuesday’s child is full of grace

 Then you can call me Tuesday’s child

 Like Wednesday’s child, I’m full of woe

 And Thursday’s child I’ve got far to go

 But you can call me Tuesday’s child

 Sharing the grace He gives

 That’s how I want to live

 Free in His promises

 I want to be Tuesday’s child

Wednesday’s Child

“Wednesday’s child is full of woe”

If your child was born on a Wednesday, don’t fret. 

Children born on a Wednesday are associated with a great amount of empathy and compassion. They are thought to be a bit gloomy and moody, full of woe because they feel empathy and sadness for others. Wednesday children carry the weight of the world on their shoulders. But this can be their superpower that enables them to do great things for others, and be a good friend and partner to others.

Wednesday Addams from the Addams Family is a modern example of this archetype, and some children’s charities are inspired by this interpretation of “Wednesday’s Child”.

If you aren’t too keen on this fate for your child, take heart. A different version of the poem has Wednesday’s Child fated to be “merry and glad”. You can see this version below in the Variations section.

Thursday’s Child

“Thursday’s child has far to go”

Children born on a Thursday have “far to go”. This is perhaps the line most open to interpretation in the poem.

A positive interpretation is that a child born on a Thursday has a long and successful life ahead of them. They will go far in life either in terms of longevity and/or having great success or fame. This is the traditional interpretation of the poem.

“Far to go” could even indicate a love for travel and new adventures.

On the other hand, some interpretations hold that this child may have a difficult path in front of them. 

Other versions of the poem (seen below) describe Thursday’s Child as “inclined and thieving”, “very smart”, “merry and glad”, and “sour and sad”. Take your pick!

Friday’s Child

“friday’s child is loving and giving.”

Children born on a Friday are thought to be affable, loving, and generous. 

However, in other versions of this poem, being born on a Friday was thought to be unlucky because many Christians associate Friday with the day of crucifixion. 

In a version of Monday’s Child published in Harper’s Weekly in 1887, it is Friday’s Child who is full of woe, not Wednesday’s Child. 

Another version of the poem uggests that “Friday’s child will never part”, meaning that they are loyal to their family and God, or that they will bloom where they are planted, never straying too far from home.

In yet one more version of the poem, the author writes “Born of a Friday, Godly given”, indicating that a Friday’s child has a strong connection to God and will do God’s will throughout their life. They will be faithful to their God.

Fans of the original Star Trek series may remember the episode entitled “Friday’s Child”, in which Captain Kirk goes on a mission to save the life of an unborn child.

Saturday’s Child

“Saturday’s child works hard for his living”

A child born on a Saturday is thought to be hard-working, responsible, and particularly dedicated to and passionate about their work. In this interpretation, Saturday’s child has an enviable fate, making lasting contributions to society and the world. 

A more negative interpretation holds that this child will be destined to a life of difficult work, unable to find sufficient rest and reprieve from the demands of the world.

Sunday’s Child

“And the child that is born on the Sabbath day

is bonny and blithe, and good and gay”

A Sunday child is thought to be happy and wise. “Bonny” means beautiful or attractive, “blithe” means joyful. 

Sunday is the traditional Sabbath Day, so it makes sense that a child born on this day is thought to be fortunate and happy. A child born on Sunday is thought to be blessed with positive traits.

Traditionally, Christmas (December 25th) was considered the luckiest day of birth. However, modern children may take issue with that, since it has the effect of cutting into the amount of presents they receive!

Structure

The original ‘Monday’s Child’ poem is an eight-line nursery rhyme that consists of simple rhyme scheme, which is a feature common to nursery rhymes. Its rhyme scheme follows a pattern of AABBCCDD, which achieves a sing-song pattern that makes the poem appealing and catchy. This pattern helps humans to remember it through decades and generations, even if the content is nonsensical or obscure. Even as the content of the poem endures, the origin and meaning of the poem become less clear as time goes on, and more open to interpretation.

Variations

If you don’t like the original version of the poem and the destiny it assigns to your child, there are other iterations you may like better. Here are some of the original poems we found. They are all variations of the Monday’s Child poem we found that may suit you better. Take your pick!

Variation 1

Sunday’s child is full of grace

Monday’s child is full in the face

Tuesday’s child is solemn and sad

Wednesday’s child is merry and glad

Thursday’s child is inclined and thieving

Friday’s child is free in giving

Saturday’s child works hard for a living

Variation 2

Born on Monday, fair of face;

Born on Tuesday, full of grace;

Born on Wednesday, merry and glad;

Born on Thursday, wise and sad;

Born on Friday, Godly given;

Born on Saturday, earn a good living;

Born on Sunday, blithe and gay

Variation 3

Sunday’s child is full of grace,

Monday’s child is fair of face;

Tuesday’s child loves to race,

Wednesday’s child is kind of heart;

Thursday’s child is very smart,

Friday’s child will never part;

Saturday’s child is good of heart

Variation 4

Born of a Monday, Fair in face;

Born on a Tuesday, Full of God’s grace;

Born of a Wednesday, Merry and glad;

Born of a Thursday, Sour and sad;

Born of a Friday, Godly given;

Born of a Saturday, Work for your living;

Born of a Sunday. Never shall we want;

So there ends the week, And there’s an end on’t.

Variation 5

Born of a Monday, Fair in face;

Born on a Tuesday, Full of God’s grace;

Born on Wednesday, Sour and sad;

Born on Thursday, Merry and glad;

Born on a Friday, Worthily given;

Born on Saturday, Work hard for your living;

Born on Sunday, You will never know want.

Variation 6

Monday for health,

Tuesday for wealth,

Wednesday best day of all,

Thursday for crosses,

Friday for losses,

Saturday no luck at all.

He who’s born on the day of rest

In health and fortunes has the best.


Best Day to get Married

For centuries, people have also tried to make predictions about the days of the week and how they relate to other important (and mundane) events. 

In the following poem from Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society, Vol. 25, the author makes predictions about which days of the week are best for a couple to get married.

He predicts:

Monday for health, 

Tuesday for wealth,

Wednesday the best day of all,

Thursday for losses, 

Friday for crosses,

Saturday no day at all.


Best Day for Sneezing

There are even traditional poems that judge the best day for sneezing:

Sneeze on a Monday, you sneeze for danger;

Sneeze on a Tuesday, you kiss a stranger;

Sneeze on a Wednesday, you receive a letter;

Sneeze on a Thursday, you’ll get something better;

Sneeze on a Friday, expect great sorrow;

Sneeze on a Saturday, meet a sweetheart to-morrow;

Sneeze on a Sunday, your safety seek,

The devil will chase you the whole of the week. 


Best Day for Cutting Nails

And in perhaps the most ridiculous poem of all, Elizabethan writer Thomas Nashe writes about when is the best day to cut one’s nails, asking “would bid yong folks beware on what day they par’d their nayles”?:

Cut your nails Monday, you cut them for news;

Cut them on Tuesday, a pair of new shoes;

Cut them on Wednesday, you cut them for health;

Cut them on Thursday, ’twill add to your wealth;

Cut them on Friday, you cut them for woe;

Cut them on Saturday, a journey you’ll go;

Cut them on Sunday, you cut them for evil,

All the week long you’ll be ruled by the devil. 


In a modern version of the Days of the Week poem, Bruce Larkin pokes fun at the original Monday’s Child poem, pointing out different childhood ailments:

Monday’s Child is Ill

By Bruce Larkin

Monday’s child is ill, I’m told.

Tuesday’s child has caught a cold.

Wednesday’s child is down with the flu.

Thursday’s child is feeling blue.

Friday’s child can’t eat any food.

Saturday’s child is in a foul mood.

And the child that’s born on the seventh day

Is the only child that feels okay.


Notes

  • The full title of the book is actually “Traditions, Legends, Superstitions, and Sketches of Devonshire: On the Borders of the Tamar and the Tavy, Illustrative of Its Manners, Customs, History, Antiquities, Scenery, and Natural History” by Anna Eliza Bray. References to the book have been understandably shortened to “Traditions of Devonshire”. 
  • **The calculator uses Zeller’s Algorithm, which can determine the day of the week for any date in the past, present or future, for any dates between 1582 and 4902. Simple enter your date of birth, and the day of the week in which you were born will appear.

So, do you think your child’s personality could be tied to the day of the week they were born? Or, is it all a bunch of rubbish?

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