Some people may be wondering why anybody would yell "May Day" when they are in trouble. Here is why:

It derives from the French "m'aidez", pronounced "mayDAY," and means literally "help me."
If you are in distress while flying an airplane, calling "Mayday mayday mayday" over the radio will give you top priority and any help people on the ground or in the air can offer.
by Athene Airheart May 3, 2004
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It is an emergency procedure word used internationally as a distress signal in voice procedure radio communications. It derives from the French venez m'aider, meaning "come help me".

It is used to signal a life-threatening emergency primarily by mariners and aviators but in some countries local organisations such as police forces, firefighters, and transportation organizations may also use the term. The call is always given three times in a row ("Mayday Mayday Mayday") to prevent mistaking it for some similar-sounding phrase under noisy conditions, and to distinguish an actual Mayday call from a message about a Mayday call.

A mayday situation is one in which a vessel, aircraft, vehicle, or person is in grave and imminent danger and requires immediate assistance. Examples of "grave and imminent danger" in which a mayday call would be appropriate include fire, explosion or sinking.

Civilian aircraft in the UK and Europe are encouraged to use the following format:

MAYDAY, MAYDAY, MAYDAY; Name of station addressed; Aircraft callsign; Nature of emergency; Intentions of the pilot; Present position (including Altitude or Flight level); Pilot's qualifications; Any other useful information (number of souls on board.)
MAYDAY, MAYDAY, MAYDAY, this is NONSUCH, NONSUCH, NONSUCH. MAYDAY, NONSUCH. Position 54 25 North 016 33 West. My boat is on fire and sinking. I require immediate assistance. Four people on board, are taking a lifeboat. MAYDAY NONSUCH, OVER."
by ralook_blondy November 29, 2011
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There are very few countries that celebrate mayday the way it deserves to be celebrated.

First of all, common misunderstanding is that mayday is 1st may. The real mayday starts 30th april and continues to very morning of first may (and sometimes even further).

It once used to be a celebration of working people, but this has been long forgotten. Nowadays, hardly anyone remembers (or cares) about the history of mayday.

The one and only proper way to celebrate mayday is pissup. Getting drunk out of your skull. Getting wasted. Whatever works for you as long as you can't walk straight.

The celebration includes (in addition to alcohol) balloons, serpentine and students doing things they regret later.
On the mayday week, alcohol sells 65% more than on any other week during the year.

More people die in alcoholic poisoning on mayday than on any other day of the year.
by Pasi Hirvonen May 2, 2004
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Not sure about this one but possibly from the French "m'aidez" or Help Me!
M'aidez! M'aidez! Help me! Help me!
by Tag May 4, 2004
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when black kids beat the white kids on the first of may
oh it is mayday lets beat up the white kids
by gregory5579 July 11, 2006
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From the bond movie "A View to a Kill". Mayday was a female henchmen who was a strong muscular black women. She found out she was being used and in the end ended up helping bond.
If you played the N64 Goldeneye, you may remember her as an unlockable character. Mayday
by lfletch1 May 7, 2007
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The promise of a pleasurable future experience, the date for which has not been specified. Derived from a similar expression regarding an item called a tuit, specifically a round one.
Sally: 'Darling, when shall we be married?'

Don: 'Mayday, my sweet, Mayday. When I get around to it.'
by Pusscat May 2, 2004
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