Wednesday Addams is an iconic character whether you're speaking of the original comic version, or Christina Ricci's famous portrayal in movies such as The Addams Family Values. But how did she get her somewhat uncommon name? A new letter, published in The New Yorker, reveals what inspired creator Charles Addams to name the little girl after a day of the week.
The letter was written in response to another New Yorker article detailing the history of a giant 14'x4' Addams family mural called "The Addams Family Holiday."
Paul Karasik, cartoonist & Stuckeman visiting professor of interdisciplinary design 2017, discovered a masterpiece… https://t.co/Mge4KKikWM— PSU Stuckeman School (@PSU Stuckeman School)1531156600.0
Thrilled to see the piece, reader Joan Blake wrote in to give some background information:
It was a pleasure to see a copy of Charles Addams's painting "An Addams Family Holiday" printed in the magazine (Sketchbook, July 9th & 16th). I met Addams in New York more than fifty years ago. I lived in North Carolina, but had travelled to the city for a court case involving the custody of my children. I was staying with my college roommate, and she threw a large party, which Addams attended. I was so depressed that I sat on the couch all evening. Addams sat down beside me and asked what was wrong. I told him. He took my arm, walked me to the elevator, and took me to P. J. Clarke's. He made me laugh and told me that the Addams Family was being made into a television show, and that he had no name for the little girl. I said, "Wednesday—Wednesday's child is full of woe." And Wednesday became her name.
Come for the story of how Wednesday Addams got her name, "aw" at the part where Charles Addams saw a sad person at… https://t.co/dX3sdTCjco— Geonn Cannon (@Geonn Cannon)1532975075.0
In case you don't recognize it, Blake was referencing an old nursery rhyme which was supposed to be able to predict a child's personality based on which day of the week they were born:
Monday's child is fair of face
Tuesday's child is full of grace
Wednesday's child is full of woe
Thursday's child has far to go,
Friday's child is loving and giving,
Saturday's child works hard for a living,
And the child that is born on the Sabbath day
Is bonny and blithe, and good and gay.
@TheAVClub As one who was born on a Wednesday, I thought this was old news 🤠— Sco Diddley (@Sco Diddley)1533009878.0
Wherever the name came from, we should ultimately just be grateful it ended up bringing us amazing moments like these:
Skeptical minds may doubt Blake's honesty, but her account largely lines up with other records. It's well known that Charles Addams didn't name any members of the gruesome family until the TV show was being produced in 1964.
This passage from The Addams Family: An Evilution by H. Kevin Miserocchi tells a very similar story to Blake's:
A year [before the TV show], a Manhattan-based company named Aboriginals, Ltd had opted to manufacture stuffed fabric dolls based on the Addams family characters. Addams had been thinking about Morticia as the name of the skeletal beauty in black rags, Gomez was already Gomez, and a friend suggested that the pallid little girl he was drawing certainly suggested Wednesday, the child of woe from the traditional nursery rhyme. Addams liked it.
In 1964, Wednesday's name debuted alongside the TV show, and the rest is history!
The original Addams Family, 1964. https://t.co/EAEYOJjWJ7— History In Pictures (@History In Pictures)1533004862.0
Did you know that the Addams Family’s living room was pink? https://t.co/HQQDwEFr6Q— Marina Amaral (@Marina Amaral)1531735948.0
Ted Cassidy July 31, 1932-1979🎬🎭🎥🎈 #TedCassidy The Addams Family https://t.co/QtDbi5lYni— 🧚🏻♀️Annette🧚🏻♀️ (@🧚🏻♀️Annette🧚🏻♀️)1533028815.0
💀The Addams Family (1991). I freakin' love this movie!💀 https://t.co/re0Ttj7bid— 🎥📺📚Damien📚📺🎥 (@🎥📺📚Damien📚📺🎥)1532398473.0
Who called it The Addams Family and not The 'Fraidy Bunch.— Derek (@Derek)1531618139.0
Many thanks, Joan Blake, from Addams family fans everywhere!
did everyone know i’m obsessed w the addams family https://t.co/zwRhClpJV1— bee (@bee)1533002740.0