Casting a clout

Published: Monday, 05 June 2023

'I reckon' as Victor would say, he has got it wrong about casting a clout, writes Jim Cracken.

It obviously refers to the month of May, when it is always warmer, and thus time to 'cast a clout'. I just cannot see hawthorn blossom having anything to do with it.


Referring to your article concerning when it gets warmer and 'casting a clout', writes Emily Jones.

My family have always understood it to be when the May blossom (hawthorn) is out, as it comes out into flower with the the warmer weather, and therefore taking off winter clothes.

The weather in the beginning of June can be anything, and looking back at records there has often been snow in June, as it was much colder in those days when these sayings came into being.

And another

I have never heard the phrase 'January is out' or any other month being out as far as that goes, so why May is out?

Because it is what is known as the May blossom that is out, like any other flowering tree, plant or flower that is always describes as 'out'. Certainly not a month.

Pat Formby