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#2233 - 05/12/00 06:09 AM To "Make Hay"  
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pieman Offline
stranger
pieman  Offline
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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"  
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jmh Offline
Pooh-Bah
jmh  Offline
Pooh-Bah

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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"  
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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"  
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Philip Davis Offline
journeyman
Philip Davis  Offline
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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"  
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jmh Offline
Pooh-Bah
jmh  Offline
Pooh-Bah

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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"  
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paulb Offline
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paulb  Offline
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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"  
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Philip Davis Offline
journeyman
Philip Davis  Offline
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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"  
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Jackie Offline
Jackie  Offline

Carpal Tunnel

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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"  
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tsuwm Offline
Carpal Tunnel
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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"  
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tsuwm Offline
Carpal Tunnel
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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/

#2243 - 05/14/00 05:00 PM Re: To "Make Hay"  
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Jackie Offline
Jackie  Offline

Carpal Tunnel

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Louisville, Kentucky
Hay! Tsuwm, I think it should be a 'womansard' roof, then!
I also now understand your later weference.


#2244 - 05/15/00 12:03 PM Re: To "Make Hay"  
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wsieber Offline
old hand
wsieber  Offline
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Switzerland
Even among us "word harvesters" the majority, myself included, seems to be emotionally/unconsciously attached to the agri-culture of our ancestors. It would be interesting to determine the percentage of agricultural themes among metaphors in general.


#2245 - 05/15/00 06:19 PM Re: To "Make Hay"  
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pieman Offline
stranger
pieman  Offline
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Leafing through the OED I came across this word:

medkniche -
"...the quantity of hay to be given in reward to the hayward, being as much as he could lift with his middle finger as hgh as his knee."

pieman


#2246 - 05/15/00 06:22 PM Re: To "Make Hay"  
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jmh Offline
Pooh-Bah
jmh  Offline
Pooh-Bah

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"Leafing through the OED..." as one does ..

How many places could you begin a sentence like that!


#2247 - 05/15/00 08:21 PM Re: To "Make Hay"  
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AnnaStrophic Offline
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AnnaStrophic  Offline
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lower upstate New York
>It would be interesting to determine the percentage of
agricultural themes among metaphors in general.<

Herr Sieber,
I wonder if your compatriot, Jung, ever did a study on that while he was compiling examples for his "collective unconscious" theory?


#2248 - 05/17/00 06:40 AM Re: To "Make Hay"  
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wsieber Offline
old hand
wsieber  Offline
old hand

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Switzerland
Anna..,
Even though C.G.Jung always insisted on the empirical foundation of his concepts, his empirical base was more anecdotal than statistical (This is not intended as a value judgement); and his clientele hardly included any people of agricultural occupation.


#2249 - 05/17/00 03:59 PM Re: To "Make Hay"  
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Jackie Offline
Jackie  Offline

Carpal Tunnel

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Louisville, Kentucky
wsieber,
a one-word agricultural metaphor that is relevant to this
thread is calling someone a 'hayseed'.


#2250 - 05/17/00 06:47 PM Re: To "Make Hay"  
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David108 Offline
member
David108  Offline
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Auckland, New Zealand
...and what about someone who might be too chicken to post to the forum?


#2251 - 05/18/00 06:00 AM Re: Hayseed  
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wsieber Offline
old hand
wsieber  Offline
old hand

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Switzerland
Jackie,
Thank you, I did not know this word. I looked up its meaning in Merriam Webster.. and now I have a nagging doubt whether this is really a METAPHOR in the sense of "making hay". There must be another term for such words, in the direction of "pars pro toto".


#2252 - 05/18/00 10:30 AM Re: To "Make Hay"  
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venesssa Offline
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venesssa  Offline
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western australia
Apparently the nice, warm, thatched roofs were the home of various animals on the farm including the cats, mice and dogs. When it rained, all the animals would jump down from the roof and hence the expression "Its raining cats and dogs"


#2253 - 05/18/00 12:07 PM Re: Hayseed  
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Jackie Offline
Jackie  Offline

Carpal Tunnel

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Louisville, Kentucky
wsieber,
I stand contemned.


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