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From Middle High German sunābent, sunnenābent, from Old High German sunnūnāband ‎(literally Sunday eve) (9th c.), calqued on Old English sunnanǣfen. In the Germanic reckoning, the day begins at sunset. Compare Low German Sünnavend, West Frisian snjoen, sneaun.


  • IPA(key): /ˈzɔnˌ(ʔ)aːbənt/ (standard)
  • IPA(key): /ˈzɔnamt/ (colloquial usage)
  • (file)


Sonnabend m ‎(genitive Sonnabends, plural Sonnabende)

  1. (northern and eastern Germany, East Germany) Saturday

Usage notes[edit]

Sonnabend is still commonly used by older generations in northern Germany, whereas most younger people have adopted the southern/western Samstag. Since Sonnabend was the day's only official name in the German Democratic Republic, the word still enjoys a stronger position in eastern Germany, although the dominant Samstag is also winning ground among the young.


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