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.


1 Answer 1


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? Commented Jan 30, 2016 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. Commented Jan 30, 2016 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. Commented Jan 30, 2016 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. Commented Jan 30, 2016 at 3:14

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