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, sneon.


  • IPA(key): /ˈzɔˌnaːbənt/, /ˈzɔnˌʔaːbənt/ (standard)
  • IPA(key): /ˈzɔ.namt/ (colloquial)
  • (file)


Sonnabend m (strong, genitive Sonnabends or Sonnabendes, plural Sonnabende)

  1. (Northern Germany, Eastern Germany) Saturday
    Synonym: Samstag

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.
  • Outside of these areas, Sonnabend might be used in the context of Roman Catholic masses held on Saturday evening, in order to emphasise that such masses count for fulfilling Sunday obligation. This is rare, however.


Derived termsEdit

See alsoEdit

Further readingEdit

  • Sonnabend” in Duden online
  • Sonnabend” in Digitales Wörterbuch der deutschen Sprache