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April fool's day

English translation: Julian -> Gregorian Calendar Change

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GLOSSARY ENTRY (DERIVED FROM QUESTION BELOW)
English term or phrase:April fool's day - origin
English translation:Julian -> Gregorian Calendar Change
Entered by: #41698 (LSF)
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11:27 Mar 24, 2003
English to English translations [PRO]
Art/Literary / Tradition
English term or phrase: April fool's day
It falls on April the 1st each year. It is a day when practical pranks are tolerated.

How did it get started in the first place and when? Any story behind it?
#41698 (LSF)
Malaysia
Local time: 14:13
Julian -> Gregorian Calendar Change
Explanation:
See links below...
Selected response from:

tongue tied
Local time: 07:13
Grading comment
Liked the info at infoplease.com
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
4 +4April Fool's Day
jerrie
5poisson d'avril
ViktoriaG
3 +1Julian -> Gregorian Calendar Change
tongue tied
4French maquereauMike Birch


  

Answers


2 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +4
April Fool's Day


Explanation:
origins

April Fools' Day

also called ALL FOOLS' Day, first day of April, named from the
custom of playing practical jokes or sending friends on fools'
errands on that date. Although it has been observed for centuries
in several countries, the origin of the custom is unknown. It
resembles other festivals, such as the Hilaria of ancient Rome
(March 25) and the Holi festival of India (ending March 31).
Its timing seems related to the vernal equinox (March 21),
when nature "fools" mankind with sudden changes in the weather.

On April Fools' Day all people are given an excuse to play the
fool. In France the fooled person is called poisson d'avril
("April fish"), but the origin of the name is unknown. In April
the cuckoo, emblem of simpletons, comes, so in Scotland the
victim is called gowk (cuckoo). The custom of playing April Fools'
jokes was taken to America by the British. It has continued to
be observed by children and adults and sometimes involves rather
elaborate hoaxes as well as merely simple jokes.

"April Fools' Day" Encyclopædia Britannica Online
<http://www.eb.com:180/bol/topic?eu=8205>


hth

jerrie
United Kingdom
Local time: 07:13
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 773

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Anna Bittner
6 mins

agree  Сергей Лузан
40 mins
  -> Thanks

agree  AnaBlyth
2 hrs

agree  xxxOso: ¶:^)
7 hrs
  -> Thanks
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53 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5
poisson d'avril


Explanation:
Ce n'est pas vraiment une explication mais, probablement comme résultat des traditions françaises, au Québec, on s'amuse ce jour-là dans les écoles à coller un dessin de poisson dans le dos des autres sans se faire intercepter. C'est un peu, disons, bouffon, le seul but étant de rire dans le dos de la personne portant le poisson pendant le cours de biologie.

Si quelqu'un a une explication sur le poisson, ce serait intéressant d'en apprendre davantage. ;)

ViktoriaG
Canada
Local time: 02:13
Native speaker of: Native in FrenchFrench, Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 8
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1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
French maquereau


Explanation:
According to the 'Oxford Companion to the Year':
most likely explanation, probably from late 15th century:
the April fish is the mackerel (maquereau in French), which also means a pimp, ponce or go-between. Possibly this term was extended to the victim of a practical joke.
The 'Companion' cites usage of the phrase by the duc de Saint-Simon in 1711. A German Elector is mocked by a crowd in a church calling him 'poisson d'avril'.
Other spurious explanations include the fact that Charles IX in 1564 ordered that the year start on January 1 not April 1 (still the starting point for the financial year). Hence April fools were given worthless New Year's presents on the wrong day.


Mike Birch
Local time: 07:13
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish, Native in FrenchFrench
PRO pts in pair: 15
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3 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +1
Julian -> Gregorian Calendar Change


Explanation:
See links below...


    Reference: http://www.infoplease.com/spot/aprilfools1.html
    Reference: http://www.usis.usemb.se/Holidays/celebrate/april.html
tongue tied
Local time: 07:13
PRO pts in pair: 21
Grading comment
Liked the info at infoplease.com

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  walzl
38 mins
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