The name Friday comes from the Old English Frīġedæġ, meaning the "day of Frige", a result of an old convention associating the Germanic goddess Frigg with the Roman goddess Venus, with whom the day is associated in many different cultures. The same holds for Frīatag in Old High German, Freitag in Modern German, and vrijdag in Dutch.
The expected cognate name in Old Norse would be friggjar-dagr. However, the name of Friday in Old Norse is frjá-dagr instead, indicating a loan of the week-day names from Low German. The modern Scandinavian form is fredag in Swedish, Norwegian, and Danish, meaning Freyja's day. The distinction between Freyja and Frigg in some Germanic mythologies is contested.
The word for Friday in most Romance languages is derived from Latin dies Veneris or "day of Venus" (a translation of Greek Aphrodī́tēs hēméra, Ἀφροδῑ́της Ἡμέρα), such as vendredi in French, venres in Galician, divendres in Catalan, vennari in Corsican, venerdì in Italian, vineri in Romanian, and viernes in Spanish and influencing the Filipino biyernes or byernes, and the Chamorro betnes. This is also reflected in the p-Celtic Welsh language as Gwener.
An exception is Portuguese, also a Romance language, which uses the word sexta-feira, meaning "sixth day of liturgical celebration", derived from the Latin feria sexta used in religious texts where it was not allowed to consecrate days to pagan gods.
In Sardinian, the word chenàpura also figures as an exception among all the other Romance languages, since it is derived from Latin cena pura. This name had been given by the Jewish community exiled to the island in order to designate the food specifically prepared for Shabbat eve.
In Arabic, Friday is الجمعة al-jumʿah, from a root meaning "congregation/gathering." In languages of Islamic countries outside the Arab world, the word for Friday is commonly a derivation of this: (Indonesian jumat, Malay jumaat, Turkish cuma, Persian جمعه, jumʿa).
In modern Greek, four of the words for the week-days are derived from ordinals. However, the Greek word for Friday is Paraskevi (Παρασκευή) and is derived from a word meaning "to prepare" (παρασκευάζω). Like Saturday (Savvato, Σάββατο) and Sunday (Kyriaki, Κυριακή), Friday is named for its liturgical significance as the day of preparation before Sabbath, which was inherited by Greek Christian Orthodox culture from Jewish practices.
Friday was formerly a Christian fast day; this is the origin of the Irish Dé hAoine, Scottish Gaelic Di-Haoine, Manx Jeheiney and Icelandic föstudagur, all meaning "fast day".
In both biblical and modern Hebrew, Friday is יום שישי Yom Shishi meaning "the sixth day."
In most Indian languages, Friday is Shukravāra, named for Shukra, the planet Venus. In Bengali শুক্রবার or Shukrobar is the 6th day in the Bengali week of Bengali Calendar and is the beginning of the weekend is Bangladesh.
In Japanese, 金曜日 (きんようび kinyōbi) is formed from the words 金星 (きんせい kinsei) meaning Venus (lit. gold + planet) and 曜日 (ようび yōbi) meaning day (of the week).
In the Korean language, it is 금요일 in Korean Hangul writing (Romanization: geumyoil), and is the pronounced form of the written word 金曜日 in Chinese characters, as in Japanese.
In the Nahuatl language, Friday is quetzalcōātōnal ([ket͡saɬkoːaːˈtoːnaɬ]) meaning "day of Quetzalcoatl".
Most Slavic languages call Friday the "fifth (day)": Belarusian пятніца – pyatnitsa, Bulgarian петък – petŭk, Croatian petak, Czech pátek, Polish piątek, Russian пятница – pyatnitsa, Serbian петак – petak, Slovak piatok, Slovene petek, and Ukrainian п'ятниця – p'yatnitsya. The Hungarian word péntek is a loan from Pannonian dialect of Slavic language. The n in péntek suggests an early adoption from Slavic, when many Slavic dialects still had nasal vowels. In modern Slavic languages only Polish retained nasal vowels.