Period of greatest prosperity or productivity. The heyday of the buggy whip ended when automobiles became popular. The heyday of broadcast radio ended with the coming of television. The heyday of computers will end with the coming of telepathic organic slime capable of absorbing everything ... keep it under your hat.

The current spelling of 'heyday' arose as a folk etymology. In the early 1500s (first recorded in the 1520s), it was heyda, and was used akin to hei or hurrah, a happy exclamation of playfulness or surprise.

By 1751 it was being used in its current sense, to mean the period of time in which one was most successful. At this time it also picked up its new spelling, presumably simply because it felt like a more sensible word if it was composed of more familiar parts. However, the spirit of the word might best have been served if they had spelt it hurrah-day.

Hey"day` (?), interj. [Cf. G. heida, or hei da, D. hei daar. Cf. Hey, and There.]

An expression of frolic and exultation, and sometimes of wonder.

B. Jonson.

 

© Webster 1913.


Hey"day` (?), n. [Prob. for. high day. See High, and Day.]

The time of triumph and exultation; hence, joy, high spirits, frolicsomeness; wildness.

The heyday in the blood is tame. Shak.

In the heyday of their victories. J. H. Newman.

 

© Webster 1913.

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