Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


April, the name of the fourth month of the year. There is a very wide-spread custom of playing little tricks or practical jokes upon people on the 1st of April; this generally takes the form of sending the "April fool" (as the victim is called) on a bootless errand. In Scotland the term used is "gowk," and he is usually made to carry a letter which bears the injunction, "Send the gowk another mile." The custom is said to be connected with the sending of Christ from Annas to Caiaphas, and from Pilate to Herod - the miracle-play (where this was represented) taking place in April; but the practice is found to exist among Hindoos, and is probably connected with the licence of the Spring Festival. The word April is held by some to be derived from the Latin aperire, to open, because the buds open in that month.