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Evolution Of The Phrase “Have A Field Day”

Monterey Airport Comfort Inn (I’m Back)

March 18, 2021

I’m stumped by how this phrase came to have the meaning it does today. The following explanation is actually no explanation at all.

“Have a field day,” as we know, means to extract excitement or gain an advantage from a situation, particularly a situation that is detrimental to someone else. Originally, field day was a military term that referred to a day dedicated to military maneuvers, as these military maneuvers occurred in actual fields. During the 1800s the term field day came to mean any day during which exciting or big events occurred. Today, having a field day most often describes excitement or gaining an advantage from a situation that proves detrimental to someone else.

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Mar 20, 2021

I very fondly remember Field Day in elementary school -- a May Saturday devoted to all kinds of physical competitions on the playground beside our elementary school. While I do not know it to be a fact, my guess is that my elementary school no longer holds Field Day.....

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