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It appears like a couple of consonant sounds have been transposed. How, why did that happen?

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I don't see anything transposed: the [d] has been dropped, and so has the [e]: Wednesday -> We[d]n[e]sday -> Wensday. –  ShreevatsaR Dec 9 '11 at 14:03
    
Also, it would be better to have "sometimes" in your question, since pronunciation varies. –  GEdgar Dec 9 '11 at 14:10
    
@ShreevatsaR I seem to pronounce and conceptualize it as "Wendzday", so there is some transposition, at least in my idiolect. But I'm not sure if that has any linguistic significance... –  Wlerin Sep 20 at 0:09

1 Answer 1

up vote 6 down vote accepted

Since Wednesday derived from Odin (Odin's Day) the n was already the stressed/more prominent sound. Over time, the o sound shifted into a W taking along the stress with it. Since English lacks a stop and this DN is such a difficult letter pairing, I suspect the n simply won out over time. No transposition was needed.

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Hmm... fun. Thanks for the explanation. –  John Berryman Dec 9 '11 at 14:53
4  
More precisely, Wednesday and Odin are derived from a common root: Wednesday derives from Gmc. Wodnesdæg ("Woden's day"). Odin derives from O.N. Oðinn, from P.Gmc. *Wod-enaz-. It's this *Wod-enaz- where O.E. Woden and O.H.G. Wuotan come from. –  Hugo Dec 9 '11 at 16:44

protected by tchrist Sep 19 at 23:58

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