Black Friday: Where does the name come from? What’s it all about?


Erkina Sartbaeva

Jack Zapfel, staff writer

When people think about Black Friday, they typically think about discounts and large clusters of people swarming stores everywhere. That’s what I always thought of it as anyway. I don’t think enough people understand the history behind the holiday and the meaning behind its name.

“No clue,” Ben Hamer ’16 replied, when asked if he knew the meaning behind the name “Black Friday.”

The term “Black-Friday,” refers to the day of year when retail companies enter the “black” and earn a profit. After a long year in the red, companies jump into the black after an immense quantity of shoppers purchase all of the discounted merchandise.

According to an article on, the first recorded use of the term refers to a financial crisis, the crash of the gold market on September 24th, 1869. Interestingly enough, the term also was used by policemen in Philadelphia, in 1950,  to describe the large numbers of people who would head into town the day after Thanksgiving and the day before the big Army-Navy football game held every year on Saturday. Philadelphia cops would never take “Black Friday” off because they had to deal with extra traffic and large numbers of people. The term did not expand  to common use for the rest of the country until 1985. Retailers used the “red to black” philosophy in order to make the day, the retail holiday it is today.

Black Friday is a way for many to do some early shopping for the upcoming holidays in December.

“I like Black Friday because my friend and I to go shopping at midnight every year. Not only am I able to get really good deals but I also get to spend time with my friends and family,” Anay Simunovic ’18 shared.

Black Friday is great way for people to get gifts for others and themselves at great prices. Over the years, have attended the mall with my siblings start our christmas shopping. I try to go at reasonable times (not around a store’s opening) to avoid the most hectic times. Sometimes the lines are horrible, but everyone is trying to take advantage of the good deals, so it’s not something you can control. Similar to Anay, I’ve always found that Black Friday is a great way to spend time with family, have fun, and save money.

“I love buying gifts for all my family members on black friday because I get to save so much money and it gets done earlier!” Jessy Nelson ’16 also explained.

Black Friday is a wonderful day to start thinking about the holidays while also saving money. To all those taking advantage of deals today, Happy Shopping!