In the sentence 唔知佢點解,佢閒日唔會打電話嚟。

What is the meaning of 閒日? The official translation given by my reference is “weekdays”, but when i searched this in the dictionary, the meaning given is “free time”.

Which is it? Is it a cultural difference?

  • 閒日 means weekdays, but contextually it's a metaphor(free time/non-busy days) – wada Oct 9 '19 at 6:14

Words.hk defines it as:

星期一至五, 唔屬於星期六日或公眾假期嘅日子(量詞:個)
weekdays: Monday,Tuesday,Wednesday, Thursday or Friday; usually with the restriction of a non-holiday

And they give the example:

haan4 jat2 jam2 caa4 jau5 zit3 wo3!
Discount for dim-sum on weekdays!


閒日 is literally made up of the characters for idle + day. Why weekdays are idle days could only be explained by slow business - because business is would, assumably, be good on the weekends and holidays. But you’d never hear this usage in Mandarin where it just simply means “off day,” i.e.: a day where one doesn’t work.


Guangzhouhua-Putonghua gives it a different Cantonese definition:


“Non-market days.”

CCCanto’s definition is also similar:

free time or off day


閒日 means "weekdays" instead of "weekend" because restaurants, touring and entertaining business get busy in weekend and holiday. (I worked in restaurants, so I am familiar with this term)

閒日(weekdays/non-busy days) is a lingo in the business mentioned above.

The more accurate translation of 閒日 should be "non-holiday weekdays" or literally "non-busy day"

Another Cantonese term for weekdays is "拜頭" (short for 禮拜頭). "拜尾" (short for 禮拜尾) means weekend.

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