The word for Saturday in many languages both Romance (Italian, Spanish etc.) and Slavic (Russian, Polish, for example) is Sabado / Sobota - very similar words!

My personal amateur guess is that it comes from the Christian religious word (in English): "sabbath" and therefore probably comes from Latin and the spread of Christianity a long time ago.

Is this true or are there better explanations?

  • 1
    It's true, they're related to sabbath, but it comes from Semitic not Latin, and from there into Greek. Per Ling SE rules, please Google it or use Wiktionary before asking basic etymology questions. Schabbat schalom. Sep 10, 2017 at 17:34
  • Look for the Semitic root "7".
    – user6726
    Sep 10, 2017 at 18:09
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    @user6726. Wrong. “Sabbath” is š-b-t; “seven” is š-b-ʻ.
    – fdb
    Sep 10, 2017 at 21:33
  • Noo, it's not fair, I called dibs! Sep 10, 2017 at 21:40

1 Answer 1


In both Romance and Slavic languages it was borrowed indirectly from Hebrew - in both cases through ancient Greek σάββατον which, in turn, was borrowed to medieval Latin (ecclesiastical Latin, to be more precise) as sabbatum.

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