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The meaning and origin of the expression: There's an R in the month

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There's an R in the month


The weather is cold.


The winter months between September to April have Rs; May to August don't. The phrase is often used in the advice 'Don't eat oysters unless there is an R in the month'. Henry Buttes made a reference to this as early as 1599, in Dyets drie dinner:

"The oyster is unseasonable and unwholesome in all months that have not the letter R in their name".