63

Her mother's name being Morticia, it strikes me odd that her daughter would be named after a day of the week. Am I missing something? What is the reasoning behind that character being named Wednesday?

  • Morticia and Wednesday are equally odd names. In fact, these days, Morticia would be the stranger of the two. (Sunday Rose Urban, January Jones...) – Martha Nov 5 '14 at 15:35
  • 5
    @Red_Shadow - Her full name is Wednesday Friday Addams; en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wednesday_Addams – Valorum Nov 5 '14 at 17:17
  • 39
    Why is your name "Nomkins"? – Lightness Races in Orbit Nov 5 '14 at 17:25
  • 29
    My friend worked with a girl named Tuesday. She would often say, "Hey Tuesday, do you want to go to Friday's on Thursday and get a Sundae?" – Scottie Nov 5 '14 at 22:33
  • 2
    @Scottie I bet jokes like that get pretty Mondayn, I mean mundane, after a while. – corsiKa Nov 9 '14 at 3:19
149

According to The Addams Family: An Evilution Charles Addams named her after the nursery rhyme "Monday's Child"

A year earlier, a Manhattan-based company named Aboriginals, Ltd had opted to manufacture stuffed fabric dolls based on the Addams family characters. Addams had been thinking about Morticia as the name of the skeletal beauty in black rags, Gomez was already Gomez, and a friend suggested that the pallid little girl he was drawing certainly suggested Wednesday, the child of woe from the traditional nursery rhyme. Addams liked it.

 

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 loving and giving,

Saturday's child works hard for a living,

But the child who is born on the Sabbath day

Is fair and wise and good in every way.

  • 1
    So THAT's where it's from! There have been a couple of Star Trek episodes called "Friday's Child" and such. You have my upvote sir. – PointlessSpike Nov 5 '14 at 15:55
  • 9
    Suddenly a number of book/movie/film things fall into place. I had never heard of this rhyme either but as PointlessSpike already said: Some StarTrek episode titles become clear now. I'm fairly certain there are also some Simpsons episodes related to this. – Tonny Nov 5 '14 at 16:04
  • 5
    Most Christians. – lea Nov 6 '14 at 11:12
  • 2
    The last verse should read "Is fair and wise and good and gay", from back when "gay" did not have the connotation of "homosexual" it does today. – Bob Jarvis Nov 8 '14 at 19:45
  • 1
    I always heard "bonny and blithe and good and gay." – MissMonicaE Jun 12 '17 at 12:31
46

Charles Addams, the creator of the Addams family clearly intended her name to relate to the popular children's rhyme 'Monday's Child'' ("Monday's child is fair of face, Tuesday's child is full of grace, Wednesday's child is full of woe", etc).


To back this up, the original pen sketch that Addams provided to the ABC-TV Network (before the show was aired) specifically describes her as a "child of woe".

Child of woe is wane and delicate... sensitive and on the quiet side, she loves the picnics and outings to the underground caverns... a solemn child, prim in dress and, on the whole, pretty lost... secretive and imaginative, poetic, seems underprivileged and given to occasional tantrums... has six toes on one foot...

enter image description here

  • 1
    Interesting! I like that you pointed out his specific reference to the rhyme. – Nomkins Nov 5 '14 at 15:47
  • @Nomkins - I'm still at a loss why her middle name was Friday – Valorum Nov 5 '14 at 15:48
  • 1
    "Loving and Giving". She certainly has strong family ties. And in the movie she is constantly exchanging "gifts" with her brother. Exchanging gifts might be a stretch... – Nomkins Nov 5 '14 at 15:52
  • 1
    @Richard In many early versions of the poem, Wednesday and Friday attributes were reversed. That seems possibly due to general Christian thoughts of Friday being a bad-luck day. The relation to Wednesday Friday Addams' name is a guess on my part; but since "Wednesday" indeed came from the poem, it seems plausible. – user2338816 Nov 6 '14 at 13:35
  • 1
    @user2338816 - They were reversed in the early 1800s. Unless Charles Addams was a history buff, I find it unlikely he'd know that version. – Valorum Nov 6 '14 at 14:07
9

According to Wikipedia:

In Addams' cartoons, which first appeared in The New Yorker, Wednesday and other members of the family had no names. When the characters were adapted to the 1964 television series, Charles Addams gave her the name "Wednesday", based on the well-known nursery rhyme line, "Wednesday's child is full of woe".

2

In a letter in the July 30, 2018 issue of The New Yorker, Joan Blake from Southern Pines, N.C. takes credit for the name:

It was a pleasure to see a copy of Charles Addams’s painting “An Addams Family Holiday” printed in the magazine (Sketchbook, July 9th & 16th). I met Addams in New York more than fifty years ago. I lived in North Carolina, but had travelled to the city for a court case involving the custody of my children. I was staying with my college roommate, and she threw a large party, which Addams attended. I was so depressed that I sat on the couch all evening. Addams sat down beside me and asked what was wrong. I told him. He took my arm, walked me to the elevator, and took me to P. J. Clarke’s. He made me laugh and told me that the Addams Family was being made into a television show, and that he had no name for the little girl. I said, “Wednesday—Wednesday’s child is full of woe.” And Wednesday became her name.

  • 3
    Nice find but is there any reason you didn't edit this into your other answer? It appears to complement it nicely. – TheLethalCarrot Jul 30 '18 at 16:01
  • @TheLethalCarrot I thought about doing that, but I felt this is a different answer. – BCdotWEB Jul 31 '18 at 8:37
  • Fair enough, was just wondering the reasoning, it's fine either way so doesn't matter. – TheLethalCarrot Jul 31 '18 at 8:40
0

I remember Morticia explaining why she was named Wednesday Friday as because that's how long she was in labor giving birth to her, from Wednesday to Friday; Wednesday of one week to Friday the next.

  • 4
    Can you provide a source for your answer? Can you also edit why you think the accepted answer contradicts this answer. – Edlothiad Jun 12 '17 at 10:10
  • Not necessarily a contradiction. This could be the in-universe reason stated, while the accepted answer would be the reason why the author picked the name. – Michael Richardson Jul 30 '18 at 16:59

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.