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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, sneon.


  • IPA(key): /ˈzɔˌnaːbənt/, /ˈzɔnˌʔaːbənt/ (standard)
  • IPA(key): /ˈzɔ.namt/ (colloquial)
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Sonnabend m (genitive Sonnabends or Sonnabendes, plural Sonnabende)

  1. (Northern Germany, Eastern Germany) Saturday
  2. (Roman Catholicism, rather rare) Saturday evening (as being within the time period of roughly 30 hours in which the faithful may attend mass to fulfil their Sunday obligation)

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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