Black Friday means a little something different to all of us. To some, it’s the day we wake up at ungodly hours to wait in line and buy discounted stuff. To others, it’s the day we don’t dare leave the house for fear of getting run over by future flat-screen TV owners. In truth, the term itself has gone through several definition iterations. Let’s take a look.
1951: The term “Black Friday” is used to describe the phenomenon where employees try to capitalize on the holiday to score a four-day weekend.
1966: “Black Friday” now refers to the day that stores are crowded and Philadelphia cops have their work cut out for them.
1975-1980: “Black Friday” is re-appropriated to refer to the time when sales take a business out of the red and into the black (the definition we’re all probably most familiar with).
The mid-2000s: “Black Friday” comes to mean “The day you’re at risk for getting trampled.”
2008: It now means “Walmart officially opens at 5 a.m.”
2012: We continue to use the term “Black Friday,” but it is now losing ground to the monstrosity that is “Gray Thursday”—or, as we like to call it, “STILL THANKSGIVING, YOU MANIACS. GO HOME.”
2013: “Black Friday” becomes known as “The Less-Good Version of Cyber Monday.” People begin favoring Cyber Monday above Black Friday and Gray Thursday, with sales up 20.6% from the previous year.
2014: “Black Friday” becomes “The day the Xbox One is released and society pretty much collapses under the weight of the ensuing stampede.”
2015: “Black Friday,” “Gray Thursday,” and “Cyber Monday” are now pretty much one in the same. We’re shopping online and in stores willy-nilly. Definitions don’t matter. Nothing matters. Chaos reigns.