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1. Any day of major financial chaos or disaster; refers specifically to September 24, 1869, when stock speculators attempting to corner US gold trade caused the entire market to crash. The extremely fast growth in Wall Street has some economists worried that another Black Friday might be ahead if such growth continues unchecked.
2. The day after Thanksgiving in the US, on which extravagant sales create a frenzy of consumer activity in stores across the country. I hate working in retail on Black Friday—everyone acts like a crazy person!
a girl/man/person Friday
a person who does many different types of usually not very interesting work in an office
Usage notes: Man Friday is the name of the servant in the book Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe.The ad said, 'Person Friday required for general office duties'.
1. Also Black Monday, Black Tuesday, etc. A day of economic catastrophe, as in We feared there'd be another Black Friday. This usage dates from September 24, 1869, a Friday when stock manipulators Jay Gould and James Fisk tried to corner the gold market and caused its collapse. The adjective black has been appended to similar occasions ever since, including October 29, 1929, the Tuesday of the market collapse that marked the start of the Great Depression, and Black Monday of October 19, 1987, when the stock market experienced its greatest fall since the Great Depression.
2. Any day marked by great confusion or activity, as in It was just my luck to be traveling on Black Tuesday. This usage, too, is based on the events of 1869, marked by economic chaos. It has since been extended to other kinds of confusion, such as an accident hampering traffic during the evening rush hour.
Also, gal Friday. An efficient and faithful female assistant, as in I'll have my girl Friday get the papers together. The expression plays on man Friday, a name for a devoted male servant or assistant. The name Friday comes from Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe, whose shipwrecked hero named the young native who became his faithful companion for the day of the week when he found him. In the mid-1900s Friday was applied to a male servant and then a women secretary or clerk who works for a man. The expression girl Friday gained currency through a motion picture starring Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell, His Girl Friday (1940). Today it tends to be considered condescending and, applied to a woman, sexist.