Recorded from Old English, the name comes from Latin Maius, probably from the name of a deity cognate with the name of the goddess Maia and with magnus ‘great’.
May and January a young woman and an old man as husband and wife, as in Chaucer's Merchant's Tale (c.1395).
May balls at the University of Cambridge, balls held during May Week (see below).
May chickens come cheeping the weakness of chickens born in May is apparent from their continuous feeble cries. The saying is recorded from the late 19th century, and the proverb has also been linked to the idea that marriage in May is unlucky, and that children of such marriages are less likely to survive.
May Day 1 May, celebrated in many countries as a traditional springtime festival or as an international day honouring workers.
May game a performance or entertainment (typically involving the characters of Robin Hood and Maid Marian) forming part of celebrations held on May Day; the merrymaking and sports associated with this. The term is recorded from the early 16th century; by the middle of the century, the phrase make a May game of, meaning make a laughing-stock of someone, had developed.
May meeting each of a succession of annual meetings of various religious and philanthropic societies formerly held during the month of May in Exeter Hall, London, and other buildings.
May Queen a pretty girl chosen and crowned with flowers in traditional celebrations of May Day; in 1591 an allegorical entertainment showing the May Queen being met by her nymphs was presented before Queen Elizabeth I.
May Week at Cambridge University, a week in late May or early June when intercollegiate boat races are held.
See also April showers bring forth May flowers, so many mists in March, so many frosts in May, marry in May, sell in May, sweep the house with broom in May, the 3rd of May at third.
may1 / mā/ • modal verb (3rd sing. present may; past might / mīt/ ) 1. expressing possibility: that may be true he may well win. ∎ used when admitting that something is so before making another, more important point: they may have been old-fashioned, but they were excellent teachers.2. expressing permission: you may use a sling if you wish may I ask a few questions?3. expressing a wish or hope: may she rest in peace.PHRASES: be that as it may despite that; nevertheless.may as wellanother way of saying might as well (see might1 ).may2 • n. the hawthorn or its blossom.
Hence may be XV.
May / mā/ • n. the fifth month of the year, in the northern hemisphere usually considered the last month of spring: the new model makes its showroom debut in May | [as adj.] a May morning. ∎ (usu. one's May) poetic/lit. one's bloom or prime: others murmured that their May was passing.
May ★★ 2002 (R)
May's (Bettis) motto is “If you can't find a friend, make one.” Thanks to a disturbed childhood (where her only companion was a doll), May is one messed-up chick. She works at an animal hospital with lesbian Polly (Faris), sews as a hobby, and falls for Adam (Sisto), who thinks he likes weird girls. He doesn't know from weird. When Adam finally rejects May, she looks around and decides to make her own best friend—using only the choicest body parts. 95m/C VHS, DVD . Angela Bettis, Jeremy Sisto, Anna Faris, James Duval, Nichole Hiltz, Kevin Gage, Merle Kennedy; D: Lucky McKee; W: Lucky McKee; C: Steve Yedlin; M: Jaye Barnes-Luckett.
So vb. celebrate May-day, chiefly in gerund (a)maying. XIV.