Ne'er cast a clout till May be out

Posted by Gary Martin on June 02, 2007

In Reply to: Ne'er cast a clout till May be out posted by Jai Gomer on June 02, 2007

: Though the verdict seems to be unanimous in that "clout" refers to clothing, is there not a possibility that "casting a clout" does, in fact, refer to turning of the soil - "clout / clod"? This would give us a meaning of "Don't turn the soil until the May blossom can be seen", which would impart important agricultural information, as opposed to being a phrase concerned with when to take off or discard items of clothing, which should be fairly obvious.

That's certainly a possibility. I'd say that 'cast' seems more a more appropriate verb for the removal of clothing than it does for the turning of soil.