Recorded in the modern spellings of Friday and Fridaye, this is a very early English medieval surname. It derives from the pre 7th century Olde English 'frigedaeg', which means 'Friday', and traditionally it has always been said that the name was given to one born on that day. However this does not really add up, as there are hardly any other surnames associated with other days of the week. As examples the surname Munday or Mundy, is a form of 'Moon day', and means one born on the night of the new moon, and Tuesday is apparently only found as a first name. Nethertheless 'Friday' is an ancient surname, and one of the very first on record, with a land holder called Chetel Friedai being recorded in the Domesday Book for the county of Norfolk in the year 1086. The spelling of this name may suggest that for some workers at least, Friday was a 'free day', a day when a tenant worked for himself, not for his master. By the 17th century, several hundred years after surnames were introduced, 'Friday' generally had a bad press. A 'friday-face' was a miserable one, and a 'friday-meal' was made up of left overs! Other early examples of the surname recordings include: Ralph Fridai of Leicester in the year 1167, and William Fridey of Essex in the Curia Regis rolls of 1214 in the reign of King John of England, 1199 - 1216.
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