Alphadictionary.com

Our Sponsors

Technical Translation
Website Translation Clip Art
 

MAY DAY

Use this forum to discuss past Good Words.

MAY DAY

Postby Dr. Goodword » Mon May 01, 2006 9:36 pm

• May Day

Pronunciation: may-day • Hear it!

Part of Speech: Noun phrase

Meaning: 1. The first day of May, a traditional European holiday celebrating the onset of spring. 2. International Labor Day in some countries, mostly socialist ones. 3. The international distress signal for aircraft and other vessels.

Notes: May Day is the ancient celebration of spring, whose origins are lost in the annals of time. By the Middle Ages it was a festival to bring fertility to the fields. The May Queen is a holdover from the selection of a virgin to be transported over the fields as part of that ritual in Europe. Prior to that young girls would roam the fields in hopes of transferring their fertility to the crops.

In Play: More recently, the holiday has been preempted by the labor movement as International Labor Day, officially celebrated mostly in socialist nations. May 1 is not labor day in the United States despite attempts to make it such by the American Federation of Labor—the AFL of today's AFL-CIO—because labor unions declared the eight-hour work day on that day in 1884.

Word History: The first of today's two Good Words is May, the name of the month. It comes from the name of the Roman goddess of spring, Maia. Simple enough: May Day celebrates the return of spring. Day comes from the same original root as dawn and daisy. The latter originated as Old English dæges eage "day's eye ". The possessive form of dæg "day", dæges, survived, ultimately becoming daisy. That leaves the May Day that is the distress signal for aircraft and ships. This May Day has nothing to do with the other; it is a corruption of the French expression m'aidez "help me". May this May Day bring you only flowers and no distress at all.
• The Good Dr. Goodword
User avatar
Dr. Goodword
Site Admin
 
Posts: 3457
Joined: Wed Feb 02, 2005 9:28 am
Location: Lewisburg, PA

Postby Brazilian dude » Mon May 01, 2006 10:15 pm

2. International Labor Day in some countries, mostly socialist ones.

You gotta be kidding me. Says who?

Brazilian dude
Languages rule!
Brazilian dude
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 1464
Joined: Tue Feb 15, 2005 3:31 pm
Location: Botucatu - SP Brazil

Postby Brazilian dude » Mon May 01, 2006 10:17 pm

This May Day has nothing to do with the other; it is a corruption of the French expression m'aidez "help me".

Is this really the origin? Because if it is, it's very strange French. Aide(z)-moi would be imperative, unless you mean it in the infinitive: m'aider.

Brazilian dude
Languages rule!
Brazilian dude
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 1464
Joined: Tue Feb 15, 2005 3:31 pm
Location: Botucatu - SP Brazil

Postby Perry » Tue May 02, 2006 8:42 am

From Wikpedia:

M’aider is the infinitive form of the reflexive verb "help me" within French syntax; however, it isn’t used as a stand-alone imperative command. This has led some etymologists to claim that what the convention really meant was an abbreviation of the phrase, "Venez m’aider" ("Come help me"). "M'aidez" (which is not gramatically correct either) is considered an acceptable alternative. In both cases, however, mayday must be considered as a rather crude English phonetic representation. It should be also noted that while in English the phrase is only used in distress situation, in French it carries no more sense of urgency than its English translation "help me". What French people in distress actually shout is, "Au secours!".


The Mayday callsign was originated in 1923 by Frederick Stanley Mockford (1897-1962) [2]. Whilst senior radio officer at Croydon Airport in London, Mockford was asked to think of a word that would indicate distress and would easily be understood by all pilots and ground staff in an emergency. Since much of the traffic at the time was between Croydon and Le Bourget Airport in Paris, he proposed the word "Mayday" from the French m'aidez.


Also, here is an interesting history of telegraphic distrress signals.
Last edited by Perry on Wed May 03, 2006 1:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"Time is nature's way of keeping everything from happening all at once. Lately it hasn't been working."
Anonymous
User avatar
Perry
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 2306
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 9:50 am
Location: Asheville, NC

Postby ralph » Wed May 03, 2006 9:10 am

Let me put in a good word for my river here in NE Florida, currently called the St. Johns River (from a Spanish mission established at the mouth of the River early on). On May 1, 1562 (reportedly) Jean Ribault with a band of French Huguenots arrived on the scene, and renamed it the River of May. Unfortunately, a contingent of Spanish soldiers from nearby St. Augustine came up and destroyed the French settlement, so the St. John name lives on.
I prefer "River of May," a name which is still with us in Mayport, a small fishing village nearby.
ralph
Junior Lexiterian
 
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed May 03, 2006 8:39 am
Location: florida

Postby Brazilian dude » Wed May 03, 2006 11:45 am

And we have River of January in Brazil.

Brazilian dude
Languages rule!
Brazilian dude
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 1464
Joined: Tue Feb 15, 2005 3:31 pm
Location: Botucatu - SP Brazil

Postby Stargzer » Fri May 05, 2006 7:54 pm

Speaking of May days . . .

Yesterday, May 4, was Cinco de Maibock, Celebration of the Bock, at the Rams Head Roadhouse known for it's house brews and seasonal brews.
Regards//Larry

"To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms, and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them."
-- Attributed to Richard Henry Lee
User avatar
Stargzer
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 2546
Joined: Tue Feb 15, 2005 3:56 pm
Location: Crownsville, MD


Return to Good Word Discussion

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests