The Corner

Cast Not a Clout

 … till May is out. That’s what the old wives say back in England. “Clout” means “item of (winter) clothing,” so the sense is: Don’t discard your winter woollies until the end of May.” (That’s how I always understood it. There is an alternative interpretation that takes “May” to mean the May flower, which is the blossom of the hawthorn tree, and which confusingly appears in early May.)

That’s England, though. I thought I’d left all that behind and come to balmier shores. Yet we’re still in sweaters and long johns up here in Long Island, and it’s almost June. What’s going on? Al? Hello, Al? …

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