Every Other Week - Meaning, Origin and Usage

Did you ask your friend if they want to go to the market with you today and they tell you that they only go “every other week?” What do they mean?

This post unpacks everything you need to know about the meaning and origin of this expression.

Every Other Week Meaning

The phrase “every other week” means the week after the following week. So, if you speak to someone on week one of the year, you would talk to them again in week three and week five, or “every other week.”

Some people also use the phrase “bi-weekly” in the same context, but it is the less correct format of the two. Some people might assume you mean “twice a week” if you’re referring to “bi-weekly.”

So, if you plan on going to the movies every other week as a treat, it means that you would skip a week between films.

The phrase suits professional and social conversations. For example, you could tell your boss that you’ll recon customer accounts every other week. Or you could tell your friend that you’ll plan a fishing trip every other week.

Britons will use the word “fortnite” to describe “every other week,” but this word doesn’t have much use outside of the UK, and most people will use “every other week” instead.

Every Other Week Example Usage

“We go to the beach house every other week to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city.”

“I still see my folks every other week since they moved into the retirement estate.”

“I like doing a fast every other week to keep my weight down and improve my digestion.”

“We play a game against a rival school every other week during the season.”

Every Other Week Origin

There are no records available suggesting the origin of the phrase “every other week.” However, if we break the saying into its parts, the words “every other” describe skipping out a section of time, whether that’s a minute, hour, week, month, or year.

Every other” can also refer to “alternating.” The first use of the phrase “every other week” is unclear. Still, some language experts believe it is a part of the modern language since it refers to specific periods, and the valuation of time, which only became necessary as people started to charge for their labor after the Industrial Revolution. Since labor is a product of time, using “every other week” refers to segments of time, and you don’t have the interest or ability to do something every week.

There are hundreds of memes online using the phrase, and the saying started appearing on the internet in chats and message boards from around 2010. Most of the memes feature popular characters from 2010 to 2018, such as Kermit the Frog.

Phrases Similar to Every Other Week

  • Bi-monthly.
  • Every fortnite.

Phrases Opposite to Every Other Week

  • Every week.

What is the Correct Saying?

  • Every other week.

Ways People May Say Every Other Week Incorrectly

Some people may use the phrase to describe “twice a week” or “bi-monthly.” While there are some instances where this may be correct, it may come off as confusing, especially in professional communications.

Acceptable Ways to Phrase Every Other Week

You can use the phrase “every other week” in professional and social situations. The term means that you will skip a week between whatever task you need to do. For example, you could check the sales stats every other week at work. You could also use it in social settings, such as “We visit my folks every other week to catch up with the news.”

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