Here we go gathering nuts in May

Hazelnuts ripe for the picking

Hazelnuts ripe for the picking

Nuts in May?

These hazelnuts are just ripening now, in September, dropping into the undergrowth.

As with so many traditional rhymes, the true meaning is lost in the mists of time.

One explanation is that the children are digging for pignuts.

Another is that it’s a corruption of ‘knots of May’ referring to the May Day custom of picking bunches of flowers.