This Is How Wednesday Addams Got Her Name

On November 23, 2022, according to Collider, Netflix is scheduled to release "Wednesday," an updated look at Charles Addams' classic "The Addams Family," this time focusing on Gomez and Morticia's young daughter, Wednesday Addams, pictured above.

Save for her early portrayal on television by the precocious Lisa Loring, who played her as a cuddly and loveable, but quirky, preteen, later iterations — in particular by Christina Ricci in the 1990s and Jenna Ortega in "Wednesday" — have portrayed her as morose, deadpan, and more-or-less openly homicidal. This later interpretation is more in keeping with original creator Charles Addams' cartoons, according to Britannica, which featured such things as the family pouring boiling oil on Christmas carolers.

Wednesday's monotone and gloomy portrayal may also be more in keeping with the original inspiration for her name, which, according to Showbiz Cheat Sheet, comes from an old poem.

The Many Iterations Of Wednesday Addams

As mentioned previously, the "Addams Family" franchise owes its origins to a cartoonist, Charles Addams, who grew up in Westfield, New Jersey, according to Showbiz Cheat Sheet. The town was full of Victorian mansions, giving Addams the idea for a cartoon family that lived in such a mansion. "The Addams Family" was born, and over the course of a few years most of his drawings of the family would wind up in the pages of The New Yorker.

The cartoon would inspire a TV series, according to The New York Times, which debuted the "classic" look now associated with the family and their characters, which was followed by a short-lived animated series, then two blockbuster movies, a Broadway show, and an animated film.

In the cartoon, Gomez and Mortician Addams' children, Pugsley and Wednesday, didn't have names, according to the New York Times, although whether or not Addams had names for them in his head is unclear.

Wednesday's Child Is Full Of Woe

With the possible exception of Tuesday Weld, it's pretty rare for daughters of English-speaking parents to be named for days of the week. However, when it comes to Wednesday Addams' name, there's a possible origin story, although whether or not it's a true one is open to interpretation. 

In a 2018 letter to the editor, a woman named Joan Blake wrote to The New Yorker claiming that she was the inspiration for Wednesday Addams' name. Specifically, she says that she was at a party where Charles Addams was present, and where he was despairing of not having a name for the character of Gomez and Morticia's daughter. In a bit of synergy, she suggested "Wednesday," from the line in the poem which reads, "Wednesday's child is full of woe," and Wednesday became her name.

Showbiz Cheat Sheet notes that, Ms. Blake's claim notwithstanding, Wednesday's name can definitely be traced to the poem, although whether or not her journey goes through Ms. Blake and her party is not clear. According to, that bit of verse dates back to 1838, as far as its first publication in print, but may have existed in some form or another for centuries before that.