I was reading this book Gujarat files and suddenly I came across this word Narendra Modi’s Man Friday (describing Amit Shah) What does this title mean? And also is the word 'title' I used correct word here in this context?


1 Answer 1


It comes from the novel Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe:

man Friday n. pl. men Friday or men Fridays An efficient, faithful male aide or employee. [After Friday, a character in Robinson Crusoe, a novel by Daniel Defoe.]

From the Free Dictionary online. Also, from Wikipedia:

Friday is one of the main characters of Daniel Defoe's 1719 novel Robinson Crusoe. Robinson Crusoe names the man, with whom he cannot at first communicate, Friday because they first meet on that day. The character is the source of the expression "Man Friday", used to describe a male personal assistant or servant, especially one who is particularly competent or loyal. Current usage also includes "Girl Friday".

  • Hi, Steven, I edited your answer. Please take a look. If you don't like it, you can roll it back.
    – user140086
    Jun 25, 2016 at 15:38
  • Subservience, which is also an important part of the picture, is not adequately implied in loyalty, I think. Crusoe was white and Friday wasn't, so to Defoe and his readers subservience was natural to imagine. (Crusoe had even dabbled in the slave trade before ever becoming a castaway.) The expression involves man in the sense of manservant or valet. Jun 25, 2016 at 18:00
  • "Gal/Guy Friday" help wanted ads, which were ads looking for personal assistants, were common in the classified sections of major newspapers in the 1970s and 80s. Another cultural reference is the classic movie "His Girl Friday" (1940) starring Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell.
    – eipi10
    Jun 25, 2016 at 18:07
  • Hmm. Where have i heard this before? Oh, yeah: english.stackexchange.com/questions/294468/…
    – deadrat
    Jun 25, 2016 at 20:59

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