Here we go gathering Nuts and May. [+ 'in May']

Discussion in 'English Only' started by Yuuichi Tam, Jul 5, 2017.

  1. Yuuichi Tam

    Yuuichi Tam Senior Member

    Japanese
    We can play "Here we go gathering nuts and May" with the end part of an ant's nest.

    This is from Winnie-the-Pooh. What kind of games is "Here we go gathering nuts and May"?
     
  2. se16teddy

    se16teddy Senior Member

    London but from Yorkshire
    English - England
    The game is explained here: Game : Nuts In May

    I am not sure how you get ants to play it.
     
  3. PaulQ

    PaulQ Senior Member

    UK
    English - England
    Se16teddy gives the "rules of the game" but the origin of "Here we go gathering nuts and May" has a complicated answer because the phrase is now no longer the same as it was when it was written.

    The word "nuts" is a corruption - it should be "knots", where a knot = a bunch.
    "and" is a corruption - it should be "of".
    May is "the blossom of the Hawthorne tree"
    Maying (gerund) was the action of celebrating the month of May which was considered as the season of spring. Because hawthornes trees bloom in spring, their blossom was used for decoration.
    To go a-maying has the literal meaning of (i) gathering blossom and other flowers to decorate a house or a gathering place (ii) cerebrating the festival. and the extended meaning of (iii) 1824 M. R. Mitford Our Village I. 81 A country Maying is a meeting of the lads and lasses of two or three parishes, who assemble in certain erections of green boughs called May-houses, to dance. (iv) To go somewhere secluded with your girlfriend/boyfriend for romance.
     
  4. suzi br

    suzi br Senior Member

    Cheshire
    English / England
    The wiki page is good too:
    Nuts in May (rhyme) - Wikipedia

    Bear in mind that this song / game would have been very familiar to many of the original readers of Winnie the Pooh books.
     
  5. Yuuichi Tam

    Yuuichi Tam Senior Member

    Japanese
    Thank you for your answers.
     
  6. Cagey post mod (English Only / Latin)

    California
    English - US
    That may be the point. Winnie the pooh and his friends are on an expedition to find the North Pole. Eeyore is explaining his disdain for the project, and this may be an intentionally ridiculous proposal: "We can look for the North Pole, or we can play 'Here we go gathering Nuts and May' with the end part of an ant's nest. It's all the same to me."
     
  7. Yuuichi Tam

    Yuuichi Tam Senior Member

    Japanese
    I agree with you. I wondered how they could play it with the end part of an ant's nest.
     

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