Wordsmith.org: the magic of words

Wordsmith Talk

About Us | What's New | Search | Site Map | Contact Us  

Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Page 1 of 3 1 2 3
#2233 - 05/12/00 06:09 AM To "Make Hay"  
Joined: Apr 2000
Posts: 20
pieman Offline
stranger
pieman  Offline
stranger

Joined: Apr 2000
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


#2234 - 05/12/00 07:26 AM Re: To "Make Hay"  
Joined: Mar 2000
Posts: 1,981
jmh Offline
Pooh-Bah
jmh  Offline
Pooh-Bah

Joined: Mar 2000
Posts: 1,981
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.


#2235 - 05/12/00 11:58 AM Re: To "Make Hay"  
Joined: Mar 2000
Posts: 11,613
Jackie Offline
Jackie  Offline

Carpal Tunnel

Joined: Mar 2000
Posts: 11,613
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.


#2236 - 05/12/00 01:33 PM Re: To "Make Hay"  
Joined: Apr 2000
Posts: 81
Philip Davis Offline
journeyman
Philip Davis  Offline
journeyman

Joined: Apr 2000
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.


#2237 - 05/12/00 06:48 PM Re: To "Make Hay"  
Joined: Mar 2000
Posts: 1,981
jmh Offline
Pooh-Bah
jmh  Offline
Pooh-Bah

Joined: Mar 2000
Posts: 1,981
And can you describe the roof?

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


#2238 - 05/13/00 11:39 AM Re: To "Make Hay"  
Joined: Mar 2000
Posts: 460
paulb Offline
addict
paulb  Offline
addict

Joined: Mar 2000
Posts: 460
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.


#2239 - 05/13/00 04:33 PM Re: To "Make Hay"  
Joined: Apr 2000
Posts: 81
Philip Davis Offline
journeyman
Philip Davis  Offline
journeyman

Joined: Apr 2000
Posts: 81
Jo asked

"And can you describe the roof?"

It the noise Jonathen Ross's dog makes.


#2240 - 05/13/00 05:01 PM Re: To "Make Hay"  
Joined: Mar 2000
Posts: 11,613
Jackie Offline
Jackie  Offline

Carpal Tunnel

Joined: Mar 2000
Posts: 11,613
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?? ;-)


#2241 - 05/13/00 05:32 PM Re: To "Make Hay"  
Joined: Apr 2000
Posts: 10,538
tsuwm Offline
Carpal Tunnel
tsuwm  Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Joined: Apr 2000
Posts: 10,538
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/

#2242 - 05/13/00 05:42 PM Re: To "Make Hay"  
Joined: Apr 2000
Posts: 10,538
tsuwm Offline
Carpal Tunnel
tsuwm  Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Joined: Apr 2000
Posts: 10,538
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/

Page 1 of 3 1 2 3

Moderated by  Jackie 

Forum Statistics
Forums16
Topics13,879
Posts223,983
Members9,024
Most Online3,341
Dec 9th, 2011
Newest Members
TFED1, mark18, PureTech, Dilys, Abishek
9024 Registered Users
Who's Online Now
0 registered members (), 64 guests, and 3 spiders.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Top Posters(30 Days)
mark18 1
Dilys 1
Top Posters(All Time)
wwh 13,858
Faldage 13,803
Jackie 11,613
tsuwm 10,538
LukeJavan8 8,999
AnnaStrophic 6,511
Wordwind 6,296
of troy 5,400
Disclaimer: Wordsmith.org is not responsible for views expressed on this site. Use of this forum is at your own risk and liability - you agree to hold Wordsmith.org and its associates harmless as a condition of using it.

Home | Today's Word | Yesterday's Word | Subscribe | FAQ | Archives | Search | Feedback
Wordsmith Talk | Wordsmith Chat

© 1994-2017 Wordsmith

Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.6.0
Page Time: 0.015s Queries: 14 (0.003s) Memory: 2.7253 MB (Peak: 2.8595 MB) Zlib disabled. Server Time: 2017-10-18 00:27:00 UTC