I'd like to ask my friend out this coming weekend plus the coming Martin Luther King holiday.

I was about to say: How's your weekend shaping up? But I feel like he might also be available on the Monday holiday. Is there a better word than just weekend (basically just Saturday and Sunday) here?

In my native language, there is a word literally means "small holiday" (a weekend plus a one day holiday usually connected to the weekend); is there something like this in English?

  • 2
    @KennethK. - That's not a 3-day weekend. – Hot Licks Jan 19 '19 at 23:18
  • 5
    Hi Nicholas, if you're comfortable revealing, could you please tell us what your native language is, and what the phrase for "small holiday" is. I really think it adds to questions like this where one asks for analogies in English for structures / words / phrases in other languages. – Selene Routley Jan 20 '19 at 22:36
  • 1
    Trivial questions lke this are for the ELL site. – Fattie Jan 23 '19 at 13:13
  • 2
    @Fattie: ... um. No, no they're not. (What makes this question trivial? What does it have to do with learning English? If it really were trivial, why would that make it suitable for ELL? I could go on...) – Marthaª Jan 24 '19 at 20:16
  • 1
    It is absolutely, totally trivial. It's a question that only an English learner who is not a native speaker would ask . If the phrase "long weekend" is not an example of a universally known phrase, it would be impossible to state an example of a universally known phrase. – Fattie Jan 24 '19 at 20:21

In English, this is commonly called a 'long weekend'. Depending on the length, 'three-day weekend' or 'four-day weekend' works as well.

  • 9
    @stib Eastern US here, definitely the only thing I would consider calling this is a long weekend. – Stephen S Jan 20 '19 at 0:23
  • 23
    @StephenS - Also eastern US (Virginia), I'd say "three-day weekend." – SomethingDark Jan 20 '19 at 1:49
  • 5
    SW UK, and this is definitely a long weekend around here. – Richard Ward Jan 20 '19 at 16:12
  • 14
    Southern US, and I've heard "long weekend" but it feels less natural than "three-day weekend". – Hearth Jan 20 '19 at 19:13
  • 6
    Canada: long weekend. – 0.. Jan 20 '19 at 20:52

In British English, a public holiday is called a "bank holiday", and when it occurs on a Monday, as it often does, the three-day period is called a "bank holiday weekend".

  • 9
    But do note that this is specific to weekends "extended" by a bank holiday. If you have a SAT-SUN-MON off because you've taken some leave from work, that is not a "bank holiday weekend". That's just an extra day off, or as Glorfindel said, a "long weekend". – Richard Ward Jan 20 '19 at 16:14
  • 1
    @RichardWard note that "Martin Luther King holiday" would be a reasonable comparison to a bank holiday I think – UKMonkey Jan 20 '19 at 21:00
  • 1
    'Bank Holiday' is not all UK (or did not used to be); just England and Wales, not Scotland, and do not know about NI. – Keith Jan 20 '19 at 22:31
  • 2
    @Keith There are separate bank holidays for E&W, Scotland, and Northern Ireland, and it's been that way since at least 1971. Although keep in mind that an employer isn't obligated to give you the day off for a bank holiday. – LMS Jan 21 '19 at 14:42
  • “In British English” or “In Britain”? British English is spoken in more places than Britain, and those places don't all call their public holidays “bank holidays”. – SevenSidedDie Jan 21 '19 at 20:18

One more possibility is the phrase holiday weekend. From Merriam-Webster:

a weekend that is preceded or followed by a holiday

This is my go-to phrase in situations like you describe, since it doesn't assume that the other person actually gets the holiday off from work (I don't get MLK Day off, for example; rather, my employer offers events at work celebrating MLK, Jr.'s legacy).

So you could say something like:

How's your holiday weekend shaping up? Do you have Monday off?

It also works for slightly longer holidays, such as (the US) Thanksgiving, or the 4th of July when it falls on a Tuesday or Thursday.

  • This answer seems the most correct for the OP. The selected answer, while also correct, can apply to general situations where a person takes a sick day on Friday or Monday - i.e. not being an actual holiday. (This is based on my Midwestern US variety of English) – whatisit Jan 23 '19 at 22:55
  • Note that this is not appropriate in British English, where "holiday" has a different meaning (= US "vacation", i.e. time off work or away from home). If it weren't for our constant exposure to American media, it would be very confusing to a Brit to hear that someone was working on a "holiday weekend". – IMSoP Jan 24 '19 at 10:03

I think we need to coin the phrase, Threekend

  • 10
    You could make a case for threekend, as it isn't entirely original. It'd be great if you edited your answer to back it up! As it stands, it might get deleted; it was flagged by the review system as "low quality because of its length and content". – tmgr Jan 20 '19 at 0:08
  • 7
    I honestly just thought of it at the moment. I didn't think to look at up at the time, but I'm also not surprised I'm not the first. And somebody once wrote, "Brevity is the soul of wit." Apparently not here though. Tough crowd. – Capricorn1 Jan 20 '19 at 13:50
  • 9
    No insult intended in saying threekend isn't original: point is, it's a better answer if you weren't the first to get there. It'll definitely attract more upvotes if you make the case, provide references and back up your answer. That's the standard here: authoritative, referenced answers that explain why they are right, rather than unsourced opinion... or pithy one-liners, no harm to you or your bard! Have a poke round the Help Centre.... and please do stick around. – tmgr Jan 20 '19 at 14:03
  • 7
    Why do you think we need to coin a phrase?? – curiousdannii Jan 21 '19 at 6:26
  • Heh, I may actually start using this. – Lightness Races in Orbit Jan 23 '19 at 14:49

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.