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


Sonnabend m (genitive Sonnabends, plural Sonnabende)

  1. (dated, 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 only official name of the day 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.


  • (Austria, Switzerland, southern and western Germany): Samstag
Last modified on 15 January 2014, at 18:11