the international radiotelephone distress signal, used by ships and aircraft.
the first day of May, long celebrated with various festivities, as the crowning of the May queen, dancing around the Maypole, and, in recent years, often marked by labor parades and political demonstrations.
the international radiotelephone distress signal
“first of May,” mid-15c. Accounts of merrymaking on this date are attested from mid-13c. Synonymous with “communist procession” from at least 1906. The May Queen seems to be a Victorian re-invented tradition.
“distress call,” 1923, apparently an Englished spelling of French m’aider, shortening of venez m’aider “come help me!” But possibly a random coinage with coincidental resemblance:
“May Day” Is Airplane SOS
ENGLISH aviators who use radio telephone transmitting sets on their planes, instead of telegraph sets, have been puzzling over the problem of choosing a distress call for transmission by voice. The letters SOS wouldn’t do, and just plain “help!” was not liked, and so “May Day” was chosen. This was thought particularly fitting since it sounds very much like the French m’aidez, which means “help me.” [“The Wireless Age,” June 1923]
[mey] /meɪ/ noun 1. the fifth month of the year, containing 31 days. 2. the early part of one’s life, especially the prime: a young woman in her May. 3. the festivities of . 4. (lowercase) British. the hawthorn. 5. a female given name. 6. Cape, a cape at the SE tip of New Jersey, […]
[ma-yen] /maˈyɛn/ noun 1. a department in W France. 2012 sq. mi. (5210 sq. km). Capital: Laval. /French majɛn/ noun 1. a department of NW France, in Pays de la Loire region. Capital: Laval. Pop: 290 780 (2003 est). Area: 5212 sq km (2033 sq miles)
[ma-yahns] /maˈyɑ̃s/ noun 1. French name of . /majɑ̃s/ noun 1. the French name for Mainz
[mahy-er or, German, mahy-uh r for 1; mey-er for 2; mahy-er for 3] /ˈmaɪ ər or, German, ˈmaɪ ər for 1; ˈmeɪ ər for 2; ˈmaɪ ər for 3/ noun 1. Julius Robert von [jool-yuh s rob-ert von;; German yoo-lee-oo s roh-bert fuh n] /ˈdʒul yəs ˈrɒb ərt vɒn;; German ˈyu li ʊs ˈroʊ bɛrt […]