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90s Slang You Should Know


[mey-pohl] /ˈmeɪˌpoʊl/
noun, (often lowercase)
a tall pole, decorated with flowers and ribbons, around which people dance or engage in sports during May Day celebrations.
Origin of Maypole
First recorded in 1545-55; May + pole1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for Maypole
Historical Examples
  • Ovington is a village with a Maypole in the middle of its green—a Maypole with tattered garlands still clinging to its iron crown.

  • These are very good songs, but they will not do for a Maypole dance.

  • The cross became decayed, and a Maypole was erected either on its site or close beside it.

    The Strand District Sir Walter Besant
  • It'll save you having to walk from the Maypole, there and back again.

    Barnaby Rudge Charles Dickens
  • He was of great height and extreme leanness, resembling a Maypole rather than a man.

    In Kings' Byways Stanley J. Weyman
  • Before the lapse of many minutes the party halted at the Maypole door.

    Barnaby Rudge Charles Dickens
  • Here again in the village are the stocks; but the Maypole, which once was its pride, long since has made its exit.

  • That the Maypole bar should come to this, and we should live to see it!

    Barnaby Rudge Charles Dickens
  • Already the Maypole, that "great stinking idol," as an Elizabethan Puritan called it, had been doomed to destruction.

    Milton Sir Walter Alexander Raleigh
  • They could tell that she was tall for a girl, or tallish—not a Maypole.

British Dictionary definitions for Maypole


a tall pole fixed upright in an open space during May-Day celebrations, around which people dance holding streamers attached at its head
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for Maypole



"high striped pole decorated with flowers and ribbons for May Day merrymakers to dance around," attested from 1550s but certainly much older, as the first mention of it is in an ordinance banning them, and there are references to such erections, though not by this name, from a mid-14c. Welsh poem. See May Day.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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