Origin of Mayday – A Stocking Stuffer for You

Origin of Mayday – A Stocking Stuffer for You

posted in: Daily Life, Ordinary | 1

Stocking Stuffer and Presents for You

Merry Christmas from Paris! I’ve decided to give you readers a stocking stuffer and a Christmas present this year, via this blog. Today is the stocking stuffer and tomorrow, you will get your present.

Origin of Mayday

Several weeks ago, we were in a grocery store and opted for the self-checkout lane since we only had a few items. One of our items wasn’t scanning so I asked a nearby employee “Can you help me”? in french. Vous pouvez m’aider?

After we left the store, I was repeating the exchange so S would know what transpired (that’s typical when one of us has an interaction en français). After I repeated what I said, S wondered aloud if the word mayday – as in the distress call – was related to “m’aider” (help me), since they sound similar.

It immediately seemed plausible and we quickly looked it up. It is in fact the origin. This word was selected by Frederick Stanley Mockford in 1923 based on the French “m’aider”. Check it out: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mayday

Well, there you go. The gift of useless information. Remember, to check out tomorrow’s Christmas gift. It is going to be amazing.

Stay tuned!

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One Response

  1. Larkin Gregoire

    As a sailor I often wondered how did they come up with those emergency boating / aviation radio terms of Mayday, securitee, and especially Pan Pan (pronounced Pawn Pawn). Of all my basic boating, piloting, advanced piloting, and celestial navigation training classes, those were covered by what they meant, but never of their French origin. Teacher, thanks for the lesson!

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