Why Do People Say "Mayday" In An Emergency?

News: The Curiosity Podcast is here! Subscribe on iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play Music, SoundCloud and RSS.

You've heard pilots in movies say "mayday!" when a plane is going down. But why don't they say "help!" or "emergency!" instead? The video below uncovers the history of this interesting term.


Love getting smarter? Sign up to our newsletter and get our best content in your inbox!

Why Do People On Planes Say "Mayday" In An Emergency?

"Help" doesn't sound like much on a radio.

Why Do People Say "Roger That"?

It comes down to the phonetic alphabet.

Share the knowledge!

Key Facts In This Video

  1. Astronauts and HAM radio communicators say "Roger" as voice procedure. 00:14

  2. People would type "R" to denote that a telegraph has been received. 00:42

  3. The American army and navy formed an alphabet that assigns a word to every letter. 01:04

Why Do People Say "God Bless You"?

It was actually decreed by a pope.