Wordsmith.org: the magic of words

Wordsmith Talk

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

Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 >
Topic Options
#68436 - 05/01/02 09:48 AM May Day
wwh Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 01/18/01
Posts: 13858
Many years ago, there was a custom in New England of children "hanging May baskets". This consisted of their acquiring a small basket, decorating it, and putting candy, etc., in it with a loving note to their mother, then hanging it on the front door knob and ringing the doorbell. Then they hid until their mother came to the door and found it. Then they were invited in for an impromptu party with kisses all around.

I haven't heard of this custom's being observed since the 1930's, Has any one else heard of it since?

#68437 - 05/01/02 01:24 PM Re: May Day
slithy toves Offline

Registered: 01/29/02
Posts: 320
Loc: Sarasota, Florida, US
I had totally forgotten this, but we sho'nuff did it. Not just for mothers, but for kids around the neighborhood. Woolworth's sold these little crepe-paper baskets, which we would fill with candy and leave outside someone's door. I'm hazy on this ( it was around age 5 or 6), but my recollection is that you were supposed to leave it and run, because if anyone caught you, they might kiss you. Weird!

#68438 - 05/01/02 11:06 PM Re: May Day--distress call?
WhitmanO'Neill Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 03/13/01
Posts: 4189
Loc: Rio Grande, Cape May County, N...
While we're on it, how did "May Day" become the international call of distress?

The Only WO'N!

#68439 - 05/02/02 04:58 AM Re: May Day--distress call?
johnjohn Offline

Registered: 07/05/00
Posts: 167
Loc: Australia
mayday = m'aidez (fr.) = help me

#68440 - 05/02/02 05:17 AM .
Max Quordlepleen Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 08/12/00
Posts: 3409

#68441 - 05/02/02 09:29 AM Re: May Day--distress call?
wwh Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 01/18/01
Posts: 13858
MayDay used to be taught to ship radio operators when voice transmission became available, along with SOS, which was easy to send with key "...---..." So "mayday" was chosen by somebody ignorant of French. What would you expect?

#68442 - 05/02/02 07:11 PM [venez] m'aider
plutarch Offline

Registered: 10/10/01
Posts: 1385
Mayday = m'aidez
A source I checked gives this derivation:
[From French (venez) m'aider, (come) help me!.]

#68443 - 05/02/02 10:42 PM Re: May Day
slithy toves Offline

Registered: 01/29/02
Posts: 320
Loc: Sarasota, Florida, US
Getting back to the original subject, were Dr. Bill and I really the only ones exposed to this pagan ritual?


#68444 - 05/03/02 12:00 AM Re: May Day
Geoff Offline
old hand

Registered: 11/12/00
Posts: 819
Loc: Portland,Oregon, USA
were Dr. Bill and I really the only ones exposed to this pagan ritual?

The only pagan ritual I had to suffer through was being paired off with some grubby girl, always one named Ernestine or Thomasine or Earline or the like, who outweighed me two to one, and I had to dance around a large lingam that the grownups called a Maypole.

#68445 - 05/03/02 12:40 PM Then they cut it down
TEd Remington Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 07/17/00
Posts: 3467
Loc: Marion NC
I assume, my dear Geoff, that eventually the parents discovered that the kids were participating in a pagan fertility ritual and put a stop to it. I can hear you at the breakfast table, "I want my May pole. I want my May pole."


Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 >

Moderator:  Jackie 
Forum Stats
8964 Members
16 Forums
13869 Topics
222494 Posts

Max Online: 3341 @ 12/09/11 02:15 PM
Newest Members
LostAuthor, Joe_Lee, David_Lee, soulsurvivor, DavidLaurence
8964 Registered Users
Who's Online
0 registered (), 42 Guests and 5 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Top Posters (30 Days)
wofahulicodoc 49
LukeJavan8 32
may2point0 25
delirium 4
DavidLaurence 1
Curtis 1
Top Posters
wwh 13858
Faldage 13803
Jackie 11613
tsuwm 10538
LukeJavan8 8530
Buffalo Shrdlu 7210
wofahulicodoc 6929
AnnaStrophic 6511
Wordwind 6296
of troy 5400

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

© 1994-2016 Wordsmith