My first post for this May, and the phrase “Mayday! Mayday!” rushed in.
So I followed it to its supposed origins, which I found interesting. Origins in common lingo often shine a light on historical events, and Mayday didn’t disappoint:
The Mayday call originated in the 1920s. A senior radio officer at Croydon Airport in London, Frederick Stanley Mockford, was the first to use this signal to indicate emergency situations. Mockford’s superior officers asked him to think of a word that would indicate distress and all pilots and ground staff would clearly understand during an emergency. As much of the traffic at London’s airport at that time was to and from Paris, Mockford proposed the expression “Mayday," derived from the French word “m’aider" that means “help me" and is a shortened form of “venez m’aider," which means “come and help me."
Which lead to the question of what distress signal preceding it, SOS, stood for.
Also interesting, and spiritual to boot:
SOS, short for “save our souls" sent by Morse code, predates the use of Mayday. In 1927, the International Radiotelegraph Convention adopted Mayday as the radiotelephone distress call in place of SOS.
Here’s wishing SOS-free and no Mayday this May. Have a great one 👍💗