Black Friday

Today is Black Friday – sales fever is ready to begin!

The day after Thanksgiving Day in USA (the fourth Thursday of November) is called Black Friday. It starts the Christmas shopping season and is connected with many promotions and discounts. In all the states it is a free day of work – having a rest after the holiday. It is also a possibility for a long weekend.

The origins of the name are connected rather to the negative factors of the Balck Friday. It needs to be found in the beginnings of the official Black Friday. For many workers it was a possibility for not coming to work. After the Thanksgiving Day which always takes place on Thursday, they wanted to have Friday free and thanks to that a long weekend. The percentage of the employees who didn’t appear at work was really high. Newspapers, started to talk about Black Friday. Also for the police officers Friday after the Thanksgiving Day became a black Friday. Hectic shopping time and sales caused crowded streets and traffics. A perfect time for criminals being more active. „The latest research on the origins of “Black Friday” has been conducted by Bonnie Taylor-Blake, who has shared her findings on the mailing list of the American Dialect Society. The earliest known example of “Black Friday” to refer to the day after Thanksgiving is from an article entitled “Friday After Thanksgiving” in November 1951 issue of Factory Management and Maintenance. The article (posted by Taylor-Blake here) was about worker absenteeism on that day, rather than the shopping rush. But in the early 1960s, “Black Friday” came to be used in Philadelphia to describe the post-Thanksgiving shopping rush. Taylor-Blake discovered an article in a public relations newsletter from 1961 that uses “Black Friday” in its current meaning. (…) The origin of “Black Friday” among Philadelphia police officers of the early ’60s is further reinforced by a 1994 article for The Philadelphia Inquirer by Joseph P. Barrett, who recounted his role in popularizing the expression when he worked as a reporter for The Philadelphia Bulletin. He credits the traffic cops, who had to work 12-hour shifts the day after Thanksgiving” (

The followers of Black Friday want to see the origin of its name in the change of the ink which for the local businesses change from red into black, thanks to the huge income from the shoppings. And those before Christmas and after Thanksgiving Day are especially common.

Daria Jaranowska

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