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

  • 4
    I don't see anything transposed: the [d] has been dropped, and so has the [e]: Wednesday -> We[d]n[e]sday -> Wensday. 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 '14 at 0:09

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.

  • 5
    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

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