What Does Thursday’s Child has Far to Go Mean?

Artwork Ivana Bugarinovic |CC

The phrase “Thursday’s Child has Far to Go” is from the Old English nursery rhyme “Monday’s Child” which is a poem based on the days of the week.

Unlike most other weekdays mentioned in the poem, Thursday’s interpretation is often debated.

Traditional Meaning of ‘Far to Go’

Both positive and negative connotations have been associated with Thursday’s child over the centuries.

The traditional meaning is associated with Thursday children having a long, successful life without limitations.  Going far in life is typically viewed as a positive attribute with children having a lot of potential and talent.

Modern Interpretation of ‘Far go Go’

Modern interpretations for the meaning vary. Thursday’s child is sometimes associated with children having special needs or setbacks in life. This concept of “far to go” implies that children have obstacles to overcome.

In the 1887 version of the Monday’s Child poem published in Harper’s Weekly magazine,  it is actually Thursday’s child “who works hard for a living”, with Saturday’s child having “far to go”.

Rather than trying to read too much into interpretation, enjoy to poem for it’s light-heartedness and fun!

Illustration Fairy Art Draving Girl Garment Belgrade
Photo Ivana Bugarinovic |CC

Cultural References to Thursday’s Child

  • Numerous novels have been written titled Thursday’s Child including those by authors Noel Streatfeild (1970), Sonya Hartnett (2000), and Monique Martin (2013). One of Eartha Kitt’s autobiographies is also called Thursday’s Child.
  • Several songs titled Thursday’s Child are recorded including those by Tanita Tikaram and most famously by David Bowie (1999).
  • Television shows have featured Thursday’s Child including Murder, She Wrote and the series Road to Avonlea
  • In the 1873 version of Monday’s Child, published in St. Nicholas Magazine, Thursday’s child is sour and sad.
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