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Apr 6, 2012
This week's theme
French words that are now anglicized

This week's words
alley-oop
kickshaw
toot sweet
parry
mayday

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Words of nautical origins
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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

Mayday or mayday

PRONUNCIATION:
(MAY-day)

MEANING:
noun: A distress signal; a call for help.

ETYMOLOGY:
Mayday is an international radio distress signal used by ships and aircraft to call for help. It's a phonetic respelling of French m'aider, from venez m'aider (come and help me), from venir (to come) + me (me) + aider (to help). Earliest documented use: 1927.

USAGE:
"Auckland Westpac Rescue Helicopter flew to the aid of a yachtsman who made a mayday call this morning off the coast of Raglan."
Abby Gillies; Rescue Services Kept Busy; The New Zealand Herald (Auckland); Mar 3, 2012.

"Rooms [at Hotel Bel-Air are] so high-tech I felt like a 747 pilot. Helpful techies arrived promptly no matter how often I radioed Mayday."
Mr. Incognito Goes To Tinseltown; Condé Nast's Traveler (New York); Feb 2012.

See more usage examples of mayday in Vocabulary.com's dictionary.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
Those who cannot forgive others break the bridge over which they themselves must pass. -Confucius, philosopher and teacher (c. 551-478 BCE)

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