I don’t like the term Black Friday. To me “black” indicates bad or dark and worrisome. That’s not a feeling I want to engender on the first day of the Christmas season, the day when I start putting up decorations and start tolerating the Christmas decorations that have already been in stores since before Halloween.
The current usage is supposed to be positive and is as follows from About.com:
“The origin of Black Friday comes from the shift to profitability during the
holiday season. Black Friday was when retailers went from being unprofitable, or
"in the red," to being profitable, or "in the black", at a time when accounting
records were kept by hand and red indicated loss and black profit.”
According to Wikipedia, the phrase is older and originally refered to the traffic snars created between the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and increased number of shoppers on Friday. That makes more sense to me.
Let's look at all the "Black" days in history. Black Monday was a stockmarket crash in 1987. Black Tuesday in 1929 was the start of the Great Depression. It was actually preceded by Black Thursday the week before and then a Black Monday. England has had several Black Mondays and a Black Wednesday. Scotland and Lebanon have Black Saturdays. Black Sunday was the beginning of the Dust Bowl in 1935.
So you see, “Black” has dark, forbidding overtones and an ominous history.
I want to find a new phrase for the day after Thanksgiving. Won’t you help me? Please respond to this week’s poll.