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Black Friday, Explained

What is Black Friday?

What is Black Friday?

Just what is Black Friday?

To understand it, we need to look at the American national holiday of Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving takes place on the fourth Thursday of November and marks the beginning of the holiday season in the U.S.

First Coined

The term “Black Friday” was first coined in Philadelphia by the State Police Department there and was used to originally describe the heavy pedestrian and vehicle traffic which would occur the day after Thanksgiving. Black Friday had been used before the 1960s and its use spread throughout the U.S. around 1975 and onward.

Another Explanation

It had been seen as busy shopping day during the 1960s and stretching into the 2000s. Thus, over the years, another explanation was offered: retailers operated at a financial loss from January through November or “in the red” as it was known. And “Black Friday” indicated when they turned a profit or “in the black”. A term that started off with a negative connotation eventually went on to become a positive. This is the “Black Friday” we’ve come to hear about as we browse online stores.

Shopping Craze

Many retailers in the States were commonly known to open as early as 06:00 in the morning. But since 2011, stores such as Macy’s, Walmart, Kohl’s, Best Buy and Bealls went even further by opening as early as 05;00, even 04:00! Offering deals and promotions to early shoppers hoping to grab bargains for Christmastime has become something of a tradition in America. Even UK and Irish retailers, both on the streets and online have adopted this shopping experience craze.

Have you been affected by “Black Friday”? Let us know what you think in the comments box below.

Graham,
The STAR Team

Mo-tache-tic: Origins of the Mo and Movember

Mo-STAR, Movember

Mo-STAR

It’s All About the Bros This Movember

November, known for the no-shave event Movember, when men across the world stop shaving their moustaches, even beards, to raise awareness of men’s health issues. The charity refers to all men involved in the event as Mo Bros!

Movember is a *portmanteau of mo, the diminutive word for moustache, and November. The charity organisation was originally set up in 2004 in New Zealand and Australia. Hence the word mo being an Australian-English word of origin. Since 2007, events were launched in Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, El Salvador, Ireland, Israel, South Africa, Spain, Taiwan, the UK and the United States.

Etymology of the Tache

It can be spelt mostache or Moustache in both British and American English. “Moustache” first appeared in French in the early 1580s and possibly derived from the Italian word mostaccio or the Medieval Greek, moustakion.

In ancient Greek, mastax or mystax meant jaws; mouth while the genitive, mystakos meant upper lip. As a verb, mastax literal meaning was, “that which one chews.” Some linguists have traced these words back to the PIE root mendh-, to chew.

*Portmanteau [as a modifier]: Consisting of or combining two or more aspects or qualities.

For more information on Movember and the charities involved, visit: Movember.com

Graham,
The STAR Team
Sources: Online Etymology Dictionary; Wikipedia