Posted by Smokey Stover on September 04, 2007
In Reply to: May-December couple posted by Walter on September 04, 2007
: The title of a recent article in by J Bohannon Science was "Fertile times for May-December couples". Any ideas where the phrase "May-December couple" comes from?
Do you mean other than the obvious? May is Springtime, associated with youth, the Springtime of life. December suggests cold winter, the dead time of the year, when nothing grows. May-December romances or weddings is a common cliché to describe the coupling of youth with age, old guys marrying young girls (or vice versa). You may someimes see the phrase rendered as "May-November."
Although I have used stark terms to contrast December with May, in use the phrase only means young as opposed to old or older. I read the Bohannon article, and a photo used with the article appears to suggest that a 5-year difference is enough to evoke the phrase. Usually, however, the phrase is used only when the age difference is 15 years or more, preferably more. In the "vice-versa" category, the most visible example nowadays is Kutcher-Moore.