Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Wednesday's Random Slang-o-rama: Make hay while the sun shines

With the solstice, summer has officially arrived! Let's all make hay while the sun shines!

Hey/hay, guess when we started using that expression, which according to the Cambridge Dictionary means "to make good use of an opportunity while it lasts" (but you all knew that, right?).

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The American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer pegs it to early 1500s, noting that it "alludes to the optimum dry weather for cutting grass." The ever-educational site The Phrase Finder gives us the first recorded appearance in John Heywood's "A Dialogue conteinyng the nomber in effect of all the Prouerbes in the Englishe tongue" in 1546:

 Whan the sunne shinth make hay. Whiche is to say.

Take time whan time cometh, lest time steale away. 

It's still daylight hours as I type this, so I'm going to call it good for today and go make some hay while the sun shines. May you do the same, and seize the moment however you wish!

In real life, making hay is hot, dusty work.
Hay Harvest at √Čragny, 1901, Camille Pissarro - National Gallery of Canada, Public Domain
https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=35391190

1 comment:

Dani said...

It becomes part of living when you are surrounded by farmland. Just coming into wheat harvest now. Many of my neighbors will be parking wheat haulers in their yards, it'll be loud with the wheat route just a half acre down the road. Birds will be in the streets scavenging grain. Makes driving fun! And I always hope the town will skip fireworks with all those drying fields around us.