What is the origin of ‘Black Friday’?

What are your plans for a big shopping day called Black Friday? Will you go to the shops and fight with the crowds to get a bargain or will you shop online? If you want to know where and when Black Friday started and learn some vocabulary connected with this day keep reading, you are in the right place… and remember don’t spend all of your savings this Friday!

Black Friday originated in the USA in the early 60s. The name given to this day comes from one busy Friday when hundreds of shoppers went out on the streets in Philadelphia and slowed down the traffic causing lots of problems for the police. Black Friday follows Thanksgiving Day and it is the day when Christmas shopping season officially starts in America. It is becoming more and more popular in other countries, especially in the UK.

The idea is simple. Shops offer amazing bargains and customers use this opportunity to buy products at a cheaper price. The most popular items that people buy are those connected with technology and household appliances. Black Friday is loved by many, but hated by others.

Supporters claim it allows them to use their savings on things they always wanted but were too expensive without the discounts. On the other hand, opponents believe that people purchase things without actually needing them and can end up in the red.

What’s more, Black Friday makes some people behave like animals. There were incidents of people stamping on each other at the supermarkets just to get a TV at a discounted price. That is why online shopping is a safe option for those who do not want to be crushed by others but want to get a bargain.

Remember, whatever you choose to do on that day, remember to stay in the black!


Vocabulary explained

bargain- a thing that can be bought at a cheaper price than usual

customers– people who buy products in shops

savings- money that you put aside every week or month

purchase- to buy

to be in the red – if you are in the red you spent more money than you had in your bank account

at a discounted price – at a lower price

to be in the black– if a company is in the black it has money in its bank account. This expression is used more by governments and in business rather than individual people

Author: Magdalena Rasmus

Cavendish School of English Brochure


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