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In The Blacklist, episode S03E05, about 27:30 in, a guy asks something like this.

Some say it's a daddy-daughter thing.
Others swear it's a may-september...

What does it mean? I haven't heard that reference before.

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A May-September romance is a relationship in which one partner is significantly older than the other. May is in the spring and represents vitality and youth, perhaps a 20-30 year old person. September is the beginning of autumn and represents a person entering their later years, perhaps 40-60.

You can also use May-December, particularly for relationships with extreme age differences, perhaps a 20 year old marrying an 80 year old.

There is no implied gender relationship between the ages; it is used both for young woman + old man and young man + old woman.

  • I recon that the oldie gets to be set at different months, slightly correlated to the actual age. Is may always fixed? Would April-November be a proper expression? Would January-June imply pedophilia? – Konrad Viltersten Jan 30 '16 at 2:03
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    @KonradViltersten May-September and May-December are the only two I've ever heard, though if you modified it in context it would probably be understood. I can certainly imagine a conversation like the following: Person A: "Jane just married Mark, can you believe it? He's 18 and she's turning 65 this year!" Person B: "I guess some people are into that May-September thing." Person A: "May-September? More like February-November..." If you led with Feb-Nov, it would just be confusing, but as a followup comment it makes sense. – Jason Patterson Jan 30 '16 at 2:07
  • As far as January-June goes, yes, I guess it would, but again, it's not really used that way, so it would only work after someone had mentioned May-September or May-December. – Jason Patterson Jan 30 '16 at 2:08
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    The oldest form of this metaphor used January (as a type of winter) for the old partner and May (as a type of spring) for the young one -- see Chaucer's Merchant's Tale where the old husband and young bride are actually named January and May. But in Chaucer's day the year began in March. – StoneyB Jan 30 '16 at 3:14

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