What Friday's Child is This?

report & analysis by David Eversole

Over the years, Star Trek fans have been understandably confused about the exact meaning of the title, “Friday’s Child.” What does it mean, and why does the confusion exist?

“Monday’s Child” is a traditional fortune-telling song which became a popular nursery rhyme for children. It told of a child’s personality and fortune based on the day of the week he or she was born. It also acted as a means of teaching children the days of the week.

Most versions of the poem have the following attributes:

Monday's child is fair of face

Tuesday's child is full of grace

Wednesday's child is full of woe

Thursday's child has far to go,

Friday's child is loving and giving,

Saturday's child works hard for a living,

And the child that is born on the Sabbath day

Is bonny and blithe, and good and gay.

But how does a child who is “loving and giving” play into the events of “Friday’s Child?” The short answer: It doesn’t.

Variations of the poem have appeared since it was first recorded in A. E. Bray's Traditions of Devonshire (Volume II, pp. 287–288) in 1838. Attributes were switched to different days. In 1887, Harper’s Weekly published a version of the poem in which Friday’s child was the one “full of woe.” Theories as to why it was changed often center on Friday being the day most Christian denominations accept as the day of Jesus’ crucifixion.

Fontana quoted a slightly edited version (she left out Saturday) of this poem on the cover of her first draft script.

Case closed.

And in case you were wondering, your humble synopsist was born on a Tuesday.