ne’er cast a clout till May be out

A warning not to leave off old or warm clothes until the end of May. The proverb does not refer to May blossom, as is sometimes assumed.

1706 J. STEVENS Spanish & English Dict. s.v. Mayo, Hasta passado Mayo no te quites el sayo, Do not leave off your Coat till May be past.

1732 T. FULLER Gnomologia no. 6193 Leave not off a Clout [item of clothing], Till May be out.

1832 A. HENDERSON Scottish Proverbs 154 Cast ne’er a clout till May be out.

1948 R. GRAVES White Goddess x. In ancient Greece, as in Britain, this [May] was the month in which people went about in old clothes—a custom referred to in the proverb ‘Ne’er cast a clout ere May be out,’ meaning ‘do not put on new clothes until the unlucky month is over.’

1970 N. STREATFEILD Thursday’s Child xxv. I still wear four petticoats... Ne’er cast a clout till May be out.

1996 C. DUNN Murder on Flying Scotsman i. 7 Brought up on ‘Ne’er cast a clout till May be out’ (May month or may blossom? she had always wondered), Daisy was wearing her green tweed winter coat.


Proverbs new dictionary.

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  • ne'er cast a clout till May be out — ► ne er cast a clout till May be out proverb do not discard your winter clothes until the end of May. Main Entry: ↑clout …   English terms dictionary

  • clout — ► NOUN 1) informal a heavy blow. 2) informal influence or power. 3) archaic a piece of cloth or clothing. ► VERB informal ▪ hit hard. ● ne er cast a clout till May be out Cf. ↑ …   English terms dictionary

  • clout — [OE] In Old English, a clout was a patch of cloth put over a hole to mend it. Hence in due course it came to be used simply for a ‘piece of cloth’, and by further extension for a ‘garment’ (as in ‘Ne’er cast a clout till May be out’). However,… …   The Hutchinson dictionary of word origins

  • clout — [OE] In Old English, a clout was a patch of cloth put over a hole to mend it. Hence in due course it came to be used simply for a ‘piece of cloth’, and by further extension for a ‘garment’ (as in ‘Ne’er cast a clout till May be out’). However,… …   Word origins

  • cast — see ne’er cast a clout till May be out coming events cast their shadows before old sins cast long shadows do not throw pearls to swine …   Proverbs new dictionary

  • May — see May chickens come cheeping April showers bring forth May flowers ne’er cast a clout till May be out marry in May, rue for aye so many mists in March, so many frosts in May sell in May and go away …   Proverbs new dictionary

  • clout — see ne’er cast a clout till May be out …   Proverbs new dictionary

  • Oxford Dictionary of Proverbs, Thematic Index — absence absence makes the heart grow fonder he who is absent is always in the wrong the best of friends must part blue are the hills that are far away distance lends enchantment to the view out of sight, out of mind …   Proverbs new dictionary

  • Clootie — A clootie or cloot in Scots is a strip or piece of cloth, a rag or item of clothing; it can also refer to fabric used in the patching of clothes or the making of proddy rugs (aka clootie mats ).[1] The saying Ne er cast a cloot til Mey s oot… …   Wikipedia

  • Crataegus — Hawthorn Fruit of four different species of Crataegus Scientific classification Kingdom …   Wikipedia

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