Q From Anne Fairbrother: Does Mayfair, the area in London, just mean a place where a fair was held on May 1st?
A The area in London with that name is indeed so called because it used to be the site of a very big May fair, held each year from the first of May for 15 days. It was suppressed in 1764 because it had become too rowdy, and the rich residents of the houses that had by then begun to be built in the area didn’t like the noise. There were many fairs held in Britain at the beginning of May, in part a perpetuation of the ancient celebration of Beltane, but mainly because it was a good time of year for farmers to meet and trade.
Search World Wide Words
Recently added or updated
Katy bar the door; Simoleon; Dope; Lord love a duck; Yarely; Upset the apple cart; Snooter; Fard; By hook or by crook; Polish off; Loggerhead; Lame duck; But and ben; Logomaniac; Type louse; Corium; Lie Doggo; Fewmet; Dingbat; Kibosh; Caucus; Oryzivorous; Kick the bucket; Satisficer; Beside oneself.
Support World Wide Words!
Donate via PayPal. Select your currency from the list and click Donate.