An executive's man Friday—an assistant who can be counted on to be a wholly reliable and competent overseer—gets his appellation from a character in one of the most renowned adventure novels ever. Robinson Crusoe is a work of fiction based on an almost incredible true story. It started in Scotland where Alexander Selkirk (1676-1721), a shoemaker's son, was born and raised. Young Selkirk was unhappy in Scotland, so he ran away, joining William Dempler's privateering expedition to the South Seas. It sounded romantic, but Selkirk became completely disenchanted. And so in October 1704, he asked the captain to put him ashore. The captain obliged and left him on one of the desolate Juan Fernandez islets. But Selkirk thrived for fifty-two months before being rescued by a ship that passed close to the island in 1709.
   This adventure, or misadventure, was recognized by Daniel Defoe as an exciting basis for a good novel. And so in 1719 the book titled The Life and Strange Surprizing Adventures of Robinson Crusoe was published. The book gave birth to the character Friday, a man saved by Crusoe from being served for dinner to cannibals. Friday, so named because Crusoe met him on a Friday, became Crusoe's constant companion and served him in every way possible. The term man Friday ( and, in more recent times, also gal Friday) is used to this day to refer to an underling of unswerving loyalty on whom a person can rely. It frequently is used to designate a competent and dependable employee without whom the boss would surely flounder.
   Daniel Defoe (1660-1731) was the son of a London butcher, James Foe. The author (who changed his name to Defoe in middle life) welcomed the arrival of William of Orange in 1688 and wrote The True- Blue Englishman. An announced nonconformist, Defoe wrote, in 1702, an ironic pamphlet "The Shortest Way with the Dissenters," for which he was imprisoned for about five months. Defoe, who wrote for the Review for many years, turned to the writing of novels as he grew older. His most famous were Robinson Crusoe and Moll Flanders (1722).

Dictionary of eponyms. . 2013.

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  • Friday — (pronunciation IPAEng|ˈfraɪdeɪ, ˈfraɪdi) is the day of the week falling between Thursday and Saturday. It is the sixth day in countries that adopt a Sunday first convention. In ISO 8601, in work based customs, and in countries adopting Monday… …   Wikipedia

  • Friday — (dt. Freitag) steht für Personen: Gavin Friday, Sänger, Komponist, Maler (Irland) Linda Friday, US amerikanische Pornodarstellerin Nancy Friday, US amerikanische Autorin Orte: Friday (Texas), Vereinigte Staaten Friday Harbor, Stadt in Washington …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Friday — es la palabra en idioma inglés con que se denomina al día viernes. También puede referirse a: Música Friday (canción de Rebecca Black) Friday (canción de Sunny Day Real Estate) Apellido David Friday (1876 1945) Gavin Friday (n. 1959) Hershel… …   Wikipedia Español

  • Friday — O.E. frigedæg Frigga s day, from Frige, gen. of Frig (see FRIGG (Cf. Frigg)), Germanic goddess of married love, a West Germanic translation of L. dies Veneris day of (the planet) Venus, which itself translated Gk. Aphrodites hemera. Cf. O.N.… …   Etymology dictionary

  • Friday — (Пинеда де Мар,Испания) Категория отеля: Адрес: 08397 Пинеда де Мар, Испания …   Каталог отелей

  • Friday — ► NOUN ▪ the day of the week before Saturday and following Thursday. ► ADVERB 1) chiefly N. Amer. on Friday. 2) (Fridays) on Fridays; each Friday. ORIGIN Old English, named after the Germanic goddess Frigga …   English terms dictionary

  • Friday — [frī′dā; ] occas. [, frī′dē] n. [ME fridai < OE frigedæg, lit., day of the goddess FRIGG, akin to Ger Freitag, Du Vrijdag, Swed Fredag: transl. of LL Veneris dies (Fr vendredi), Venus day] 1. the sixth day of the week: abbrev. Fri or F 2.… …   English World dictionary

  • Friday — Fri day, n. [AS. friged[ae]g, fr. Frigu, the gooddes of marriage; friqu love + d[ae]g day; cf. Icel. Frigg name of a goddess, the wife of Odin or Wodan, OHG. Fr[=i]atag, Icel. Frj[=a]dagr. AS. frigu is prob. from the root of E. friend, free. See… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Friday — Cette page d’homonymie répertorie les différents sujets et articles partageant un même nom. Friday est un mot anglais signifiant vendredi. Etymologie: La déesse nordique freya (déesse de l amour et de la beauté) passe pour être à l origine de ce… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Friday — Fri|day [ˈfraıdi, deı] n [U and C] written abbreviation Fri. [: Old English; Origin: frigedAg day of Frigg, female god of love ] the day between Thursday and Saturday on Friday ▪ It s Kate s birthday on Friday. ▪ Diane won t be here Friday. AmE… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • Friday —    The belief that Friday is an unlucky day goes back to the Middle Ages, and is widely attested. As early as 1390 Chaucer wrote And on a Friday fell all this mischance , and throughout the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries there are ample… …   A Dictionary of English folklore

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