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Black Friday

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!
See also: black, Friday

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'.
See also: Friday, girl

Black Friday

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.
See also: black, Friday

girl Friday

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.
See also: Friday, girl
References in classic literature ?
Those infernal boys" quaked again under the in- spiration of this remark, and thought how lucky it was that they had remembered it was Friday and concluded to wait a day.
This was the state of matters, on the afternoon of, what I may be excused for calling, that eventful and important Friday.
She gave my mother such a turn, that I have always been convinced I am indebted to Miss Betsey for having been born on a Friday.
Yes; a young woman started from our country to see Dinah, Friday was a fortnight.
Dinah's been gone to Leeds ever since last Friday was a fortnight, the very day Hetty set out.
They sat thus night after night recalling that fatal Friday, till every detail of it was stamped on their brains and came through on the other side like the faces on a bad coinage.
I arrived at Limmeridge House on Friday the second of November.
In a little time I began to speak to him; and teach him to speak to me: and first, I let him know his name should be Friday, which was the day I saved his life: I called him so for the memory of the time.
But I was not content with this discovery; but having now more courage, and consequently more curiosity, I took my man Friday with me, giving him the sword in his hand, with the bow and arrows at his back, which I found he could use very dexterously, making him carry one gun for me, and I two for myself; and away we marched to the place where these creatures had been; for I had a mind now to get some further intelligence of them.
I caused Friday to gather all the skulls, bones, flesh, and whatever remained, and lay them together in a heap, and make a great fire upon it, and burn them all to ashes.
I marked him in the crowd in Welbeck Street, last Friday.
On Friday the Ninth of June in the present year, Mr and Mrs Boffin (in their manuscript dress of receiving Mr and Mrs Lammle at breakfast) were on the South Eastern Railway with me, in a terribly destructive accident.
My nephew was ready to sail about the beginning of January 1694-5; and I, with my man Friday, went on board, in the Downs, the 8th; having, besides that sloop which I mentioned above, a very considerable cargo of all kinds of necessary things for my colony, which, if I did not find in good condition, I resolved to leave so.
The ecstasies poor Friday, my trusty savage, was in when he found his father in the boat came the nearest to it; and the surprise of the master and his two companions, whom I delivered from the villains that set them on shore in the island, came a little way towards it; but nothing was to compare to this, either that I saw in Friday, or anywhere else in my life.
Jackmont, a veteran Fridays franchise partner for more than 20 years, doubles their Fridays portfolio with the purchase of the 16 Florida locations and two additional locations in Charlotte, NC.