FW: Query: "on the may" (1913)

Frank Abate abatefr at EARTHLINK.NET
Fri Sep 21 16:39:18 UTC 2001

Adding to what Doug W says below, I thought that, in West Coast cities who
back then had only minor league teams locally, May was likely the time that
the minors got started, or at least got into gear.  A check of the old
schedules might show this (or not).

But again, this would call for a capital M May.

Frank Abate

-----Original Message-----
From: American Dialect Society [mailto:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU]On Behalf
Of Douglas G. Wilson
Sent: Friday, September 21, 2001 12:35 PM
Subject: Re: Query: "on the may" (1913)

>    Would anyone have any idea what "on the may" means in the quote below
>(newspaper _San Francisco Bulletin_ April 22, 1913, p.16/2-3; title:
>"Tub and Del Are Leading"):
>    'The baseball popularity contest is growing hotter.  It is going
>to get hotter and hotter.  It will be the hottest thing on the may in
>a few more weeks.  It can't get too hot for The Bulletin.  The more
>votes that are polled for the various players of the Pacific Coast
>League the hotter it will be.  Let the "heat" flow. ...'

Only speculation. The only "the may" which comes to mind is "the May
festival", as in "Queen of the May". The date (22 April) is consistent with
"on the may" = "in May". May Day is generally 1 May, isn't it (not "a few
weeks" after 22 April)? Possibly the expression is elliptical (or even a
typographical error) for "on the May [calendar/agenda/schedule/whatever]".

-- Doug Wilson

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