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From Middle High German sunābent, sunnenābent, from Old High German sunnūnāband (literally Sunday eve) (9th c.), calqued on Old English sunnanǣfen. In the Germanic reckoning, the day begins at sunset. Compare Low German Sünnavend, West Frisian snjoen, sneaun.


  • IPA(key): /ˈzɔnˌ(ʔ)aːbənt/ (standard)
  • IPA(key): /ˈzɔnamt/ (colloquial usage)
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Sonnabend m (genitive Sonnabends or Sonnabendes, plural Sonnabende)

  1. (northern and eastern Germany, East Germany) Saturday

Usage notesEdit

Sonnabend is still commonly used by older generations in northern Germany, whereas most younger people have adopted the southern/western Samstag. Since Sonnabend was the day's only official name in the German Democratic Republic, the word still enjoys a stronger position in eastern Germany, although the dominant Samstag is also winning ground among the young.


Further readingEdit