April Fools’ Day

April Fool’s Day or All Fool’s Day occurs annually on April 1. The day is generally observed by playing a practical joke on a “victim” who soon becomes known as an April Fool. This custom is thought to have started in France during the 16th century but the British are credited with bringing it to the United States.

In England, tricks can be played only in the morning. If a trick is played on you, you are a “noodle”. In Scotland you are called an “April Gowk” or cuckoo bird. It lasts for two days there. The second day in Scotland is called Taily Day and is dedicated to pranks involving the buttocks. The Scotts can be given credit for the “Kick Me” and the ‘to be the butt of a joke’ expression.

Americans play small tricks on friends and strangers alike on the first of April. One common trick on April Fool’s Day is pointing down to a friend’s shoe and saying, “Your shoelace is untied.” If victim falls for the joke the prankster yells, “April Fool!” Most April Fool jokes are harmless pranks. 

Sometimes articles in print and on line magazines are written ‘tongue in cheek’ as an April Fool’s prank. The news media sometimes gets involved. A British short film once shown on April Fool’s Day was a fairly detailed documentary about “spaghetti farmers” and how they harvest their crop from the spaghetti trees

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