Man Friday, Girl Friday

Posted by ESC on May 16, 2003

In Reply to: Girl Friday where did it come from? posted by Lotg on May 15, 2003

: : Can someone tell me where the saying "Girl Friday" came from?

: : Isn't it derived from Man Friday? Wasn't Man Friday the all rounder assistant who could do anything in Robinson Crusoe? And when you hire a Girl Friday, it's because you want an all rounder in the office.

: I probably shouldn't even be attempting to answer this, as I've never read the story. Given it's such a classic, that would no doubt astound some of the 'wordy' people who visit this site. But I've spent a lifetime avoiding reading due to an unusual eye muscular problem. I taught myself to only read what I absolutely had to, because it was too painful. So fiction was a luxury I couldn't afford to read. Recently however, they found a way to fix this problem and I have now been making up for lost time reading everything in sight. But I haven't yet read Robinson Crusoe.

: Consequently famous stories such as Robinson Crusoe, are only stories about which I've heard snippets. And consequently, I've heard of Man Friday. So if my explanation is way off - well that's why, and like to be enlightened.

MAN FRIDAY/ GIRL FRIDAY - A man Friday is: "An efficient and devoted aide or employee; a right-hand man. Friday is a character in Daniel Defoe's novel, 'The Life and Strange Surprising Adventures of Robinson Crusoe, of York, Mariner,' published 1719-1720. Friday is the young native man rescued by Robinson Crusoe, certainly the best-known castaway in literature.(Crusoe) calls him 'man Friday' because he met him on a Friday. 'Girl Friday' is a term, now frowned upon, for a resourceful female assistant, made popular by the classic 1940 comedy adaptation of 'The Front Page' (His Girl Friday) starting Rosalind Russell as an ace reporter and Cary Grant as her cynical editor and ex-husband." From the "Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Allusions" by Elizabeth Webber and Mike Feinsilber (Merriam-Webster, Springfield, Mass., 1999).