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Is there a technical linguistic term for this? It seems unusual to use two nouns, 'day', and 'Saturday', back to back. Where can I learn more about this?

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We normally use that expression when talking about the day without specifying the exact date. It's a way to refer to the day in a generic way. It could be any sunday of the year, no specific time of the year.

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  • Thanks. All the answers here have been great and helpful, but this actually most specifically answered my question.
    – user6309
    Feb 2 '16 at 4:21
  • Would un día sábado or un día lunedi sound to you equally normal as un día domingo? I am asking you because I think there might be a difference. There is an etymological history behind domingo, see my answer spanish.stackexchange.com/a/15940/11155. But I am not native Spanish so I miss the feeling what does sound natural or not to conemporary speakers. May 29 '19 at 9:01
  • There's no difference. It doesn't change based on ethymology. May 29 '19 at 16:40
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And there are many other examples:

El planeta Marte

El juez González

El abuelo Pedro

La nave "Rosita"

La reina Isabel

It is a common and simple grammatical procedure called "juxtaposition" . You can search for "sustantivos yuxtapuestos", two nouns together without nexus.

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  • 1
    Juxtaposition...
    – dockeryZ
    Feb 1 '16 at 17:01
  • Would un día sábado or un día lunedi sound to you equally normal as un día domingo? I am asking you because I think there might be a difference. There is an etymological history behind domingo, see my answer spanish.stackexchange.com/a/15940/11155. But I am not native Spanish so I miss the feeling what does sound natural or not to conemporary speakers. May 29 '19 at 9:02
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I've been taught at school this construction is called aposición. Here, "domingo" would be a "complemento de nombre en aposición" of "día":

Aposición. Construcción en la que un sustantivo o un grupo nominal complementa directamente, sin nexo expreso, a otro sustantivo o grupo nominal. La aposición puede ser especificativa, como en Tu amigo el frutero ha venido a verte; o explicativa, como en María, la hermana de juan, llamó ayer. Por extensión, se consideran aposiciones los casos en que un sustantivo lleva como complemento otro sustantivo introducido por la preposición de y entre ambos existe una relación de identidad: la ciudad de madrid, el mes de enero.

So "un día domingo" would be an "aposición especificativa" because it's specifying which day it is that your are talking about (i.e, a Sunday).

The "aposiciones" are commonly found with titles (señor Pérez, presidente Fulano, capitán Garfio), geographical features (río Ebro, monte Everest), professions (Pedro el frutero), family members (mi primo Juan), proper names (tarta Sacher), etc. So they are pretty common in Spanish.

You can read more about "aposiciones" here (only in Spanish).

I believe they are commonly known in English as appositives or apposition:

Apposition: A construction in which a noun or noun phrase is placed with another as an explanatory equivalent, both having the same syntactic relation to the other elements in the sentence; for example, Copley and the painter in The painter Copley was born in Boston.

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  • Would un día sábado or un día lunedi sound to you equally normal as un día domingo? I am asking you because I think there might be a difference. There is an etymological history behind domingo, see my answer spanish.stackexchange.com/a/15940/11155. But I am not native Spanish so I miss the feeling what does sound natural or not to conemporary speakers. May 29 '19 at 9:02
  • Un día domingo does sound more natural than any other day, but I don't know enough about its etymology to tell wether that has something to do with it or not. Interesting idea, though.
    – Yay
    May 29 '19 at 17:53
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Día domingo is not day Saturday, but day Sunday, which makes a big difference! I believe the origin and reason why it sounds natural is in Latin where the full name for Sunday is Dies Dominica, which means the Day of the Lord. So the current Spanish noun for Sunday is actually a former adjective phrase "of the Lord" :)

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