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#2233 - 05/12/00 02:09 AM To "Make Hay"
pieman Offline
stranger

Registered: 04/27/00
Posts: 20
Hello All,
I came across this phrase in The Professor and the Madman:
"The british papers, always eager to vent editorial spleen on their transatlantic rivals made hay with this particular aspect of the story."

What does it mean "to make hay" and where'd the phrase come from?

~ pieman


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#2234 - 05/12/00 03:26 AM Re: To "Make Hay"
jmh Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/22/00
Posts: 1981
Ah that's easy -

the expression is "make hay while the sun shines" - ie. make the most of whatever is coming your way, whether it be sunshine, money, good health ...

Origin: I'm sure someone knows better but I would think it has an agricultural literal origin.


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#2235 - 05/12/00 07:58 AM Re: To "Make Hay"
Jackie Offline

Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 03/15/00
Posts: 11609
Loc: Louisville, Kentucky
Yes indeed, Jo, it has an agricultural origin. Speaking
as a resident of a state full of farmland, plus personal
experience on my uncle's farm in Tennessee, I can tell you
that the farmer has to get the hay harvested and
into the barn while it is completely dry. If it gets wet.
in will simply rot and be no good for feed or even
stall floor covering.


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#2236 - 05/12/00 09:33 AM Re: To "Make Hay"
Philip Davis Offline
journeyman

Registered: 04/03/00
Posts: 81
In pre-industrial Britain hay was stored in the field in haystacks (of 'needle in a' fame) These were not simply piles of hay but carefully constructed stacks with a thatched roof to keep the content dry and often built on platforms to keep them off the ground. Barns were used exclusively for the storage of corn (corn is a term originally meaning any grain though modern use restricts it to maize, which is not much grown in britain). The american barn appears to be a general store for lots of farm produce, equipment and livestock whereas the british barn was a careful designed building where harvested corn was stored on one side of the building, between two large opposing doors was a threshing floor where the grain was threshed from the corn (the breeze between the doors being used to winnow the chaff away) and the straw then being stored on the other side of the barn. Cattle were kept over winter in a cowhouse, sometimes called a byre, often attached or close to the straw side of the barn. It's worth noting that hay is a separate crop and is an animal feedstuff, whereas straw is a byproduct of grain cultivation and is used for animal bedding.
About as interesting as duct tape then.


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#2237 - 05/12/00 02:48 PM Re: To "Make Hay"
jmh Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/22/00
Posts: 1981
And can you describe the roof?

Amazing how all these threads link up isn't it.


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#2238 - 05/13/00 07:39 AM Re: To "Make Hay"
paulb Offline
addict

Registered: 03/17/00
Posts: 460
Loc: Hobart, Tasmania, Australia
Brewer also has the phrase "to make hay of something": to disorganise and throw things into confusion and disorder. Before the days of the haybaler, it was tossed around with a pitchfork before being gathered in.


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#2239 - 05/13/00 12:33 PM Re: To "Make Hay"
Philip Davis Offline
journeyman

Registered: 04/03/00
Posts: 81
Jo asked

"And can you describe the roof?"

It the noise Jonathen Ross's dog makes.


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#2240 - 05/13/00 01:01 PM Re: To "Make Hay"
Jackie Offline

Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 03/15/00
Posts: 11609
Loc: Louisville, Kentucky
Cute, Philip!
Who is Jonathen Ross?

Jo, he said 'thatched' roof--I presume with STRAW, not HAY.
Wonder if it's a mansard, or what?? ;-)


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#2241 - 05/13/00 01:32 PM Re: To "Make Hay"
tsuwm Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 04/03/00
Posts: 10513
Loc: this too shall pass
>Wonder if it's a mansard...

if a female contractor installs a mansard roof do we have a feminist/semantics problem?

http://members.aol.com/tsuwm/

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#2242 - 05/13/00 01:42 PM Re: To "Make Hay"
tsuwm Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 04/03/00
Posts: 10513
Loc: this too shall pass
"And can you describe the roof?"

>It the noise Jonathen Ross's dog makes.

oh you wascal; that's a *weally obscure 'cultural' weference.


http://members.aol.com/tsuwm/

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