Dictionary.com

Why We Say “Trick or Treat”

trick or treat

It’s one of a kid’s favorite parts of Halloween. There’s no feeling quite like waiting for a stranger to open his or her door so you can scream the words “Trick or treat!” But why do we say it? What does it actually mean? The practice of donning a costume and asking for treats from your neighbors dates back to the Middle Ages, but back then it wasn’t a game.

During the medieval practice of souling, poor people would make the rounds begging for food. In return, they offered prayers for the dead on All Souls’ Day.

Modern trick or treating is a custom borrowed from guising, which children still do in some parts of Scotland. Guising involves dressing in costume and singing a rhyme, doing a card trick, or telling a story in exchange for a sweet. The Scottish and Irish brought the custom to America in the 19th century.

Some have traced the earliest print reference of the term trick or treat to 1927, in Alberta, Canada. It appears that the practice didn’t really take hold in the U.S. until the mid-1930s, where it wasn’t always well received. The demanding of a treat angered or puzzled some adults. Supposedly, in a Halloween parade in 1948 in New York, the Madison Square Boys Club carried a banner sporting the message “American Boys Don’t Beg.” But by 1952, the practice was widely accepted enough to be mentioned in popular media, like in the family television show Ozzie and Harriet.

If Halloween is your favorite holiday, we’re sure you already know what the “een” in “Halloween” means.

133 Comments

  1. me -  October 31, 2016 - 9:46 am

    say trick to trick or treaters

    Reply
    • Me -  November 1, 2016 - 5:58 am

      Trick or treat

      Reply
    • Chrystal Cavanagh -  December 2, 2016 - 1:55 pm

      Okay! I will!

      Reply
    • Chrystal Cavanagh -  December 2, 2016 - 1:55 pm

      Oh I understand

      Reply
  2. Dillon -  October 31, 2015 - 4:37 am

    HAPPY HALLOWEEN EVERY 1

    Reply
    • sdkjfd -  October 17, 2016 - 3:18 pm

      Yay, free candy!!!!

      Reply
  3. Olivia -  October 30, 2015 - 8:53 am

    Actually, it started in Great Brittain, it’s said we say trick or treat because back then people would go door to door saying they would pray for a family and in return get food.

    Reply
  4. Jradford -  October 28, 2015 - 6:28 am

    I Like to say trick or treat because you are tricking and geting a treat

    Reply
    • stickybuns -  October 28, 2015 - 1:39 pm

      i just say it ‘caus my mom makes me

      is that weird? :(

      Reply
    • The masked man -  October 28, 2015 - 2:15 pm

      Halloween is for everyone go get a costume and get free candy!

      Reply
    • nicky -  October 29, 2015 - 5:46 pm

      you spelled getting wrong it is spelled like

      G E T T I N G !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      Reply
  5. Dawg -  October 27, 2015 - 8:10 pm

    Hey has anyone picked out a costume for Halloween yet?

    Reply
    • Jenna -  October 28, 2015 - 8:27 am

      I’m a cat for halloween!

      Reply
    • Carleigh -  October 28, 2015 - 2:25 pm

      STEVEN UNIVERSE!

      Reply
    • Dogg -  October 28, 2015 - 2:27 pm

      I did, im spiderman

      Reply
    • NathanPepitone -  October 29, 2015 - 10:35 am

      Me I am yoda for halloween

      Reply
    • Ellen -  October 31, 2016 - 1:29 pm

      I’m supergirl

      Reply
  6. Dawg -  October 27, 2015 - 8:03 pm

    Hey guys. Has any of you have a costume picked out for Halloween yet?

    Reply
    • alex -  October 28, 2015 - 9:36 am

      hell nah im getting drunk kmsl

      Reply
  7. mariah -  October 27, 2015 - 1:31 pm

    We say trick or treat to address the people that we want more candy and since its Halloween trick because people trick other people and treat because we the people want treats and thats coming from a 10 year old

    Reply
    • BJ Palmer -  November 1, 2016 - 3:18 pm

      My daughter and I have decided that your’s is our favorite comment! We hope you had an excellent Halloween!

      Reply
  8. The Dragon Slaying Ninja -  October 27, 2015 - 8:17 am

    ME 3 CANDY FOR THE WIN

    Reply
    • Michael -  October 27, 2015 - 12:14 pm

      Me 2…more cany

      Reply
      • Harry Potter -  November 7, 2016 - 8:26 am

        CANDY, NOT cany!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        Reply
    • ASAD -  October 27, 2015 - 4:52 pm

      Bad reson to celebrste very bad

      Reply
  9. Dawg -  October 26, 2015 - 6:21 pm

    I celebrate Halloween, but hate it when people don’t give you any candy at all. I mean I just think that is just plain rude! Seriously if those people keep it up. I think their house is going to bond with some eggs, and toilet paper. You know who you are. So keep the candy view. Halloween is coming up!!!!!!!!!

    Reply
    • Dawg -  October 27, 2015 - 8:13 pm

      Speaking about Halloween. Has anyone picked out a costume for Halloween yet?

      Reply
      • Dawg -  October 27, 2015 - 8:19 pm

        sorry people This stupid computer is backing up!!! ):<

        Reply
    • Moblishia -  October 30, 2015 - 11:19 am

      What is Halloween

      Reply
  10. Whatintheworld -  October 26, 2015 - 9:44 am

    Candy is everything

    Reply
  11. Whatintheworld -  October 26, 2015 - 9:43 am

    Hi guys

    Reply
    • yep -  October 28, 2015 - 7:31 am

      get out mi car

      LIU

      Reply
  12. Rashaun Jones -  October 26, 2015 - 7:30 am

    I not like

    Reply
    • waffles -  October 27, 2015 - 6:57 pm

      lets have a english lesson with

      Reply
      • Nella -  October 30, 2015 - 6:03 pm

        lol :D

        Reply
  13. dusty -  October 25, 2015 - 6:16 pm

    I always heard it was All Hallowed Eve, the night before All Souls Day. The costumes were meant to scare away demons. My Mom and Dad are from German origin. Instead of “trick-or-treat”, they said something that sounds like “keeklee”. Does anyone know what that means?

    Reply
    • ancient icewrath -  October 26, 2015 - 8:09 pm

      idk but i think the point of Halloween has become who has the scariest house to reserve the most candy

      Reply
    • Amy -  October 30, 2015 - 9:04 pm

      You are partly correct. Halloween means “All Hallows Eve” which is the night before All Saint’s Day, Nov.1. The following day, Nov. 2 is All Soul’s Day.

      Reply
    • Stefan -  October 31, 2015 - 9:42 am

      I know that in Austria children say “Süßes oder Saures” which basically means sweet or sour (you either give me sweets or it will be a sour evening for your house :). I have seen some sour tricks children did on my neighbors houses and it was nasty

      Reply
  14. tovangar2 -  October 24, 2015 - 8:39 pm

    Halloween is a Pagan holiday, a very important one as it’s one of the cross-quarter days and, in Europe, the first day of winter. Existence was thought to be made up of several rings: our world, the world of the dead and a world where evil sprites dwelled. On Halloween, these rings line up and it’s possible to pass between the worlds (it’s outside time and does not appear on calendars). Soul Cakes are made to feed our visiting dead (the dead will take anyone who has died during the year with them when they leave). Children and the poor act as agents for the dead. Feeding them, feeds the dead. Treats or small coins may be substituted. The imps that are also loose this night get into mischief, but one can buy them off with a treat , hence “Trick or Treat”. Also Soul Cakes are left in one’s warm kitchen overnight. The dead eat the spiritual part and leave the physical remains for the living.

    The scary-looking jack-o-lanterns (pumpkins in the new world, turnips in the old) are to frighten off the imps when one has to go out after dark or to keep the imps away from your house.

    It’s important to remember that Pagan’s don’t “believe” this. They do not confuse metaphor with historical reality. It’s just a nice tradition to remember our dead, who do visit, in our memories.

    Reply
    • Gene -  October 28, 2015 - 6:35 am

      You’re making a couple of really poor assumptions.
      1. The name “Halloween” is Catholic in origin, a mash of “All Hallows Eve” The “Pagan” celebration you refer to is actually many celebrations, Celtic harvest festivals, Samhain, and others. Not all of these had anything to do with “feeding” the dead, some were a way to scare away ghosts and demons.
      2. That modern Pagans define what the pagan(non Christian) religions of the past believed.
      3. That Halloween exists on it’s own. The Catholic holiday of All Hallows Eve(Halloween) is part of a three day series of celebrations called Allhallowtide or Hallowmas. It includes All Hallows eve(10/31), All Saints Day(11/1), and All Souls Day(11/2). Hallomass remembers our martyrs, Saints, and our dearly departed.
      I recommend a little more research before making declarations.

      Reply
      • randomman2000 -  October 29, 2015 - 4:17 pm

        I agree, it was made for that reason, but we’re people stupid enough to believe that ghosts and demons would be scared of decorations?, I think it would scare only very little kids, not even adults, so demons and ghosts would especially not be scared.

        Reply
      • Erinkimberly -  October 29, 2015 - 10:25 pm

        Thank you.

        Reply
    • yep -  October 28, 2015 - 7:31 am

      yep deffinetly

      Reply
  15. WhatWhatintheWhat -  November 12, 2014 - 12:50 pm

    We don’t say Trick-or-Treat where I come from. We say What-or-Butt. It involves chocolate that doesn’t bite.

    Reply
    • WhatWhatintheWhat -  November 12, 2014 - 12:51 pm

      ..at least, not that hard.

      Reply
      • nonono -  October 26, 2015 - 11:59 am

        bro that just messed up.

        Reply
    • Gregory -  October 29, 2015 - 11:23 am

      What the!!!!!!!

      Reply
  16. Halloween piece | nora1asad -  November 10, 2014 - 6:23 am

    […] that by dressing up as evil spirits, they would be able to exorcize the real spirits. As for trick or treating, poor people would beg for food or money in exchange for prayers and songs. The people found […]

    Reply
  17. Godric -  November 3, 2014 - 9:39 am

    totally cool!

    Reply
  18. R0s!£ -  October 31, 2014 - 9:58 am

    HAPPY HALLOOWEEN EVERY1…… :)

    Reply
    • Sassbag16 -  November 3, 2014 - 9:21 am

      Assholeoolala

      Reply
    • Hiawatha -  November 3, 2014 - 9:23 am

      I love youuuu sooooooooooooooo much!!!!!!!! xxooo

      Reply
      • hcjjdkjjk -  October 23, 2015 - 7:14 pm

        Hallowwenn ith all abowt choclat

        Reply
  19. fishingking -  October 30, 2014 - 8:01 am

    eney body there

    Reply
    • Bob Jones -  November 3, 2014 - 9:22 am

      I can see why your on dictionary…

      Reply
      • Mike -  November 11, 2014 - 1:43 pm

        *you’re

        Reply
  20. fishingking -  October 30, 2014 - 7:59 am

    hay wasap

    Reply
    • xX_SwagLord_Xx -  October 26, 2015 - 6:13 pm

      Many article. Much dank. Very wow.

      Reply
  21. RazerShark -  October 30, 2014 - 7:04 am

    :-P

    Reply
    • alex -  October 25, 2015 - 3:04 pm

      hallaweennnnnnnnnnnnnnnn

      Reply
  22. RazerShark -  October 30, 2014 - 7:04 am

    B-)

    Reply
  23. […] "Trick or Treat:" What is the origin of the phrase … – where did the saying trick or treat smell my feet gimme something good to eat if you dont i dont care i will pull down ur under wear come from? […]

    Reply
    • fishingking -  October 30, 2014 - 7:57 am

      hay ARIEL

      Reply
      • fishingking -  October 30, 2014 - 7:58 am

        wasap

        Reply
        • Jack -  November 1, 2014 - 9:55 am

          coole

          Reply
        • joseph_wtos -  November 3, 2014 - 8:14 am

          wazzzaaaaaaaazazazaapppp adrian!!!!!!

          Reply
      • lajayla -  November 3, 2014 - 7:26 am

        hey trick

        Reply
    • fishingking -  October 30, 2014 - 7:58 am

      what?

      Reply
    • Ben -  October 31, 2014 - 10:57 am

      well that is actually quite cool

      Reply
  24. mary torres -  February 18, 2012 - 1:05 pm

    MA B-DAY IS OCTOBER 26

    Reply
    • Angela -  November 1, 2014 - 7:59 am

      Mine is Nov. 1st

      Reply
    • theRagingRobin -  October 26, 2015 - 6:02 am

      Happy Birthday!!!!!

      Reply
    • MIA:) -  October 26, 2015 - 1:17 pm

      happy bday

      Reply
  25. lalys -  October 27, 2011 - 7:32 pm

    i love candy and it cool to dress up as some else that day

    Reply
  26. sara -  October 11, 2011 - 9:26 am

    where did the saying trick or treat smell my feet gimme something good to eat if you dont i dont care i will pull down ur under wear come from?

    Reply
    • tianna -  October 29, 2014 - 4:15 pm

      i like that .that funny i have never heared that

      Reply
  27. Ferret -  November 8, 2010 - 8:47 pm

    I understand there is a lot of religious controversy involved in Halloween. I’m from a strongly religious background myself. However, that does not mean I’m going to refuse to hand out candy to a bunch of eager children just because some pagan worshipers are practicing their religion on the same day. It’s a day of enjoyment for many children, and I will certainly not be the killjoy who stands at the door and screams, “Begone, satanic demons! Repent, for your time is nigh, and soon you will all burn in HELL!!” Accorfing to the article, it started with wearing a costume and doing a trick for some sweets. What’s so demonic about that?

    Reply
    • Makenna -  October 29, 2014 - 1:01 pm

      I love trick or treating I am going tonight!!

      Reply
  28. Dano -  November 3, 2010 - 2:07 am

    Sometimes it is easy to forget, in the midst of a discussion such as this one, that we are only comparing one myth to another. When we keep this in mind, the conflicts and/or blends which arise are seen as trivial.

    Reply
  29. Titte B ooB -  November 2, 2010 - 5:00 pm

    You people amuse me. All Hallows Eve is a pagan holiday, but paganism is not the same as satanism or devil-worship. As an added bonus for all you brainwashed Christians, here is reference.com’s entry on Satanism:

    Satanism. The cult of Satan, or Satan worship, is in part a survival of the ancient worship of demons and in part a revolt against Christianity or the church. It rose about the 12th cent. in Europe and reached its culmination in the blasphemous ritual of the Black Mass, a desecration of the Christian rite. The history of early Satanism is obscure. It was revived in the reign of Louis XIV in France and is still practiced by various groups throughout the world, particularly in the United States. One of the largest and most influential Satanic groups is the Church of Satan (1966), founded by Anton LaVey in San Francisco. A splinter group, the Temple of Set (1975), was organized by Michael Aquino. Many Satanic groups, including the ones mentioned, attest that such worship does not necessarily imply evil intentions, but rather an alternative to the repressive morality of many other religious groups. Such groups see no harm in their indulgence in “worldly pleasures” that other religions forbid. Other, more severe brands of Satanism likely exist, although much of the activity pegged as “Satanic” has less to do with the religion than with various forms of sociopathy. Indeed, reliable research has found no evidence indicating the existence of alarming, large-scale Satanic phenomena. An unfortunate mistake is the unfounded—yet common—linkage of minority religious traditions, such as the African-derived voodoo and Santería, with Satanism.

    Reply
    • Priyanka -  October 29, 2014 - 8:52 pm

      Thank you for mentioning that!

      It is quite irritating when people refer to paganism as satanism and make jokes about it.

      Respect and leave other religions alone!

      Reply
    • Dawg -  October 29, 2015 - 9:33 pm

      You know what amuses me? How many idiotic words you can type in five minutes. Also have you heard the song, “shut up and dance with me?” You should hear the song, “shut up don’t talk to me!”

      Reply
  30. CandyMaster -  November 1, 2010 - 2:45 pm

    For those of you complaining about kids expecting free candy for nothing – all I have to say about that is “last year’s leftover Halloween candy.”. It’s cheap and the kids will eventually get the hint and will stop coming back. No lecture required. Even better is to have the kind with expiration dates showing. Stale candy, anyone?

    Reply
    • wow -  November 6, 2014 - 5:12 pm

      you are mean, candy master

      Reply
  31. Kate -  November 1, 2010 - 9:20 am

    @Pmack: I thought Halloween was a shorter term for basically “All Saints Day Eve.” Isn’t Halloween the day that Martin Luther posted his 95 theses on the door of the Catholic church? That started the reformation. What’s so satanic about that?

    Reply
    • mia -  November 3, 2014 - 10:28 am

      ahahahahhahahahahhahahah that is dumb ahahahhahahahahahahah

      Reply
      • MIA:) -  October 26, 2015 - 1:18 pm

        hey

        Reply
  32. Saf -  November 1, 2010 - 9:13 am

    @RJWilliams

    It’s pretty obvious that you didn’t actually read any of the books that you’re citing as sources. If you want to research a subject, going about it with an objective mindset generally lends to a more elucidating experience than just using the internet to search for quotes that support your pregustant (and ethnophobic) opinions.

    Also, “The Satanic Calendar?” Where on Earth did you find something so absurd? Look to the credibility of your sources (i.e., Malleus Maleficarum is not a reliable or relevant source, for reasons that I hope I don’t need to explain).

    If you had actually read The Golden Bough (the source of the Sir J.G. Frazer quote you provided), you’d realize that the author wasn’t criticizing the festival, he was passively lambasting the Catholic church for the way they too-readily assimilated all manner of pagan festivals for the sake of expansion (and not necessarily salvation). Frazer’s work, if anything, provided a dispassionate and scientific-minded disposition on the *necessity* of these beliefs, and their parallels to early Christianity.

    Other than the misappropriated quotations, I’m sorry to say that the rest of your post was pure fiction. I’ve no idea where you heard about these Druidic blood/sex/immolation ceremonies, but again — look to the credibility of your sources.

    ~Saf

    Reply
  33. Dmunn -  November 1, 2010 - 8:59 am

    In ireland the practice at halloween was to say “penny for the puca” puca meaning ghost and. Originally you recieved fruit or money at each door in return for singing a song or poem etc. Thesedays everyone says “trick or treat”

    Reply
  34. RJWilliams -  October 31, 2010 - 2:52 pm

    This is one of the most important dates on the Satanic calendar.
    THE CELEBRATION OF DEATH

    According to the Satanic Calendar Halloween, October 31st is a night for Human sacrifice. (31 All hallow’s Eve (Halloween): One of the two most important nights of the year. Attempts are made to break the bond which is keeping the doors to the underworld closed. Blood and sexual rituals. Sexual association with demons. Animal and human sacrifice – male or female.)

    More about Halloween.

    Jack-O-Lantern has its origins with pagan practices. The candle lit pumpkin or skull served as a sign to mark homes sympathetic to the Satanists/Setanists and thus deserving of mercy. The older edition of World Book Encyclopedia defines Jack-O-Lantern as an ancient symbol of a damned soul.

    Costumes also originated with these Druid death rites. As people and animals were screeching in agony while being burned to death, the observers would dress in costumes made of animal skins and heads. There is no question that, in the words of anthropologist Sir James Frazer, Halloween has a “purely pagan origin.” He notes that under “a thin Christian cloak,” the Feast of All Souls “conceals an ancient pagan festival of the dead.” This festival can be traced through thousands of years and be seen in nearly every culture since Babel.

    The origin of Halloween is the Celtic festival (Fountainheads of wicca) of Samhain, (Halloween) lord of death and evil spirits. The druids worshipped nature and celebrated the new year on October 31st. Druid priests led the people in diabolical worship ceremonies in which horses, cats, black sheep, oxen, human beings and other offerings were rounded up, stuffed into wicker cages and burned to death. ( Janet & Stewart Farrar, Eight Sabbats For Witches, 1981, p. 122) ( Lewis Spence , The History and origins of Druidism, 1976 p. 104)

    Reply
  35. [...] “Trick or Treat, Money or Eat!” — Souling n Guising and using burnt cork as a HOBO — Mom sewing patches in batches — with FELLS POINT in B’More still safe and secure — and suddenly in 59 or 60 we don’t quite remember for sure — we was stuck up at knife point by another kid — Simply for a bag of candy — a lasting impression he did — The Thief also wore a costume Jim Dandy — pretending to be a Negro — We soon moved out to the County before little sister was born — but finished our Saint Patrick’s Gradation before they closed the school. — We continued to dances at the CYO in Saint Patrick’s Hall — until one day we were given a ride by a nice old man dressed all in Black — looking priestly we got in with trust, — while we hitch hiked while waiting for a bus. — We quickly escaped when he put his hand on our leg and we hadn’t even learned how to cus. — All Souls, All Saints and changing TRADITION still keeps the costumes and candy flowing. — Now it’s more for the sale of Alcohol and Fells Point in B’Less where the “Guise” keeps the liquor and Beer Flowing. –>>Rupert L.T.Rhyme [...]

    Reply
    • jacob -  October 29, 2014 - 3:48 pm

      LIAR LIAR PANTS ON FIRE

      people say trick or treat to ask to have a trick or a treat da

      Reply
  36. Unitarian -  October 31, 2010 - 12:38 am

    It seems like a materialistic and macabre program(give-me-what-I-want- or-be-tricked-the-likes-of-the-devil)to deviate our children from their innate innocence and spiritual intelligence. Why not have our kids celebrate All-Souls-Day dresssed up as cherubims and seraphims and go around the neighbourhood giving out treats to the poor and neglected?

    May God Most Compassionate and All-Protecting bless you oh people in body, mind and soul, so turn to Him in your enjoyments even as you seek Him in your troubles.

    Reply
  37. abc -  October 30, 2010 - 7:16 pm

    I still dont get the meaning of een, sorry for the dense skull of mine.
    How is your pain, I hope it gets better.

    Reply
    • Wendy -  October 30, 2015 - 8:00 pm

      “-een” is the contracted form of “even” which was the Scottish word for evening or Eve (as in “the night before” All Saints’ Day.

      Reply
  38. abc -  October 30, 2010 - 7:14 pm

    so you beat me to the punch, so be it.

    Reply
  39. Ruth -  October 30, 2010 - 7:09 pm

    I just say, We are Christians here and Halloween is Satanic and we don’t follow satan. Thank you, goodbye. They usually look a little surprised, to say the least, but leave happy.

    Reply
    • MIA:) -  October 26, 2015 - 1:20 pm

      some of us are christen so don’t make it seem like everyone is so you don’t have to and yes halloween is like following satan but for is also for little kids to have fun bet you wish that you could be out there with your friends having fun with them too

      Reply
      • Dawg -  October 27, 2015 - 5:00 pm

        Yeah, but for some of the people that Christian it’s different. They don’t want to follow Satan, and just don’t want to do Halloween because of it. So I think we should just stay out of other peoples beliefs, and how they believe them.

        Reply
    • Dawg -  October 26, 2015 - 6:02 pm

      I kinda agree to you.

      Reply
  40. Cyberquill -  October 30, 2010 - 2:17 pm

    If to guise means dressing in costume and singing a rhyme, then to disguise must mean undressing in silence.

    How do you say “No, but I’ll be happy to smack your little skull” in Spanish?

    Reply
  41. Boucenna Cherif -  October 30, 2010 - 1:36 pm

    you’ve talked about “een”of Halloween but no explanation was given !

    Reply
    • dusty -  October 25, 2015 - 6:38 pm

      “een” is a contraction of evening used in poetry.

      Reply
  42. Pmack -  October 30, 2010 - 11:59 am

    Do you think that Jehovah God approves of true christians celebrating a pagan = False Religious Day, such as Halloween?

    God’s son Jesus stated at Mark 7:13 “13 and thus YOU make the word of God invalid by YOUR tradition which YOU handed down. And many things similar to this YOU do.”

    Halloween is a major satanic ritual day. “It’s a religious holiday for the underworld, with satanists performing sacrifices and witches quietly celebrating with prayer circles or meals for the dead,” according to a USA Today article. It quoted Washington witch Bryan Jordan as saying, “[Christians] don’t realize it, but they’re celebrating our holiday with us. . . . We like it.”
    Parents, do you want your children imitating these sinister rituals?

    Reply
  43. Mmofo -  October 30, 2010 - 11:01 am

    “Modern trick or treating is a custom”

    Hey, Dictionary.com, this text you put up should be punctuated or marked, such as “Modern trick-or-treating” or something to set it off as a known phrase. Where’s your grammar?

    Reply
  44. k9 -  October 30, 2010 - 10:34 am

    People in Puerto Rico do’t say, ¿me da mi calaverita?. We say trick or treat.

    Reply
  45. Baz -  October 30, 2010 - 10:33 am

    I find it slightly uncomfortable when local, “Trick or Treat”, children are calling. I know some of them and I know some of their parents. There is a conflict in me between appearing to be unfriendly and a deep rejection of the idea of wrapping up what is really begging with threats in a dubious history.

    If any of these children genuinely needed help and asked for it, I would do my best to provide it, but asking, or almost demanding, a gift of some kind from a neighbour, however small, does not sit easily with me.

    I am reminded of my boy scout days and, “bob a job”, week. We would ask householders for a “bob” (10p) in return for completing a job like washing their car or sweeping their drive or similar. It was all controlled with all payments recorded and signed off. Householders were given a, “job done”, sticker to prevent repeated calls. Money collected went back to the local scout troop.

    I felt good about this. There were no demands; simply an offer of work for money to help the troop. We competed to collect the most and we were all identifiable and accountable through our job cards and uniforms. I don’t suppose that this is allowed these days – exposing children to, “stranger danger”, in this way. Shame.

    Reply
    • Sarah -  October 29, 2014 - 1:44 pm

      I get how you feel but that is stupid!

      Reply
    • JW -  September 27, 2015 - 7:01 am

      1/- (one shilling) = 5p

      Reply
      • Wendy -  October 30, 2015 - 8:06 pm

        No. 1/- (one shilling) = 10p

        Reply
  46. Anna -  October 30, 2010 - 10:08 am

    Wow, Interesting.

    Reply
  47. Jang -  October 30, 2010 - 9:22 am

    cool.

    Reply
  48. Serra Sandhu -  October 30, 2010 - 8:38 am

    Just Like medieval practice of souling, A festival called LOHRI is celebrated in nothern part of India where poor people beg for food and money and bless and pray for the rich in return. Ofcourse the modern version is a little different (but not as much as in the case of Halloween). Well, even in different cultures, human nature is par all the differences of borders and colors

    Reply
  49. Ole TBoy -  October 30, 2010 - 7:25 am

    We Americans love our conspiracy theories and I had always wondered how deeply involved our candy manufacturers might have been with the spread of ‘TRICK OR TREATING.” If they were not active participants in promoting this Scot idea, they certainly were not slow to exploit it to the fullest. American business is very good in convincing us we need to spend money in connection with any and all holidays. Witness the growth of Halloween lights in front yards–lights that are pretty much like Christmas decorations, save for the orange colors. P. T. Barnum was right. There IS a sucker born every minute.

    Reply
  50. Kate -  October 30, 2010 - 6:32 am

    WOW! Very interesting… for a monkey. No good actions, but the article suits it’s pupose.

    Reply
    • MDO -  October 30, 2014 - 10:59 am

      BECAUSE

      Reply
  51. Michael Dadona -  October 30, 2010 - 4:55 am

    I always welcome them, the only different thing I’d done so far is I quirk and turn them into scout. Ask them to do little jobs and once finished I give them money (not the apple candy). As I said yesterday in my comment for “The meaning of “een” in Halloween may trick, not treat, you”, I like so much the activity (tric-or-treat).

    Reply
  52. on tiptoe -  October 30, 2010 - 3:22 am

    ‘Trick or treat’ has been not bilateral so far or not–what are candies in return?

    Reply
  53. Ghalibu Hamidu -  October 30, 2010 - 3:03 am

    It is very interresting infomation. you deserve more respect and GOD blessing you .

    Reply
  54. Ferret -  October 29, 2010 - 10:04 pm

    Very interesting! It’s a nice tradition too; after all, who doesn’t love running around in the night, clad in strange clothing, in order to obtain candy? If I were not slightly too old to be begging for candy myself, I’d surely still be doing so.
    It is interesting to know the tradition came from Ireland and Scotland. I feel a bit of pride in my Irish ancestry coming on…

    Happy Halloween, Samhain and All Soul’s Day all!

    Reply
  55. bcullen -  October 29, 2010 - 6:09 pm

    Whatever they say, it still gives children something to look forward to,its a happy day for them, where they can get candies for free, where they can look spooky and scary at the same time,and people give them candies for it! try to look scary on a regular day? see if you’ll get a candy hehehe….

    Reply
  56. Nathan Hunter -  October 29, 2010 - 5:15 pm

    Souling, yup, knew that. Guising, didn’t know that. It seems that all the Halloween traditions came to America to becoem what it is know. I don’t think they even do Trick-or-Treat in Eruope. I had a Polish priest once and I asked them if they did Halloween in Poland. No he didn’t, but every year our church does the best haunted house. But it always had to do with saints, so we were tying two holidays together.

    Reply
  57. lmao -  October 29, 2010 - 4:07 pm

    hmmmm i love candy

    Reply
    • mackenzie -  October 29, 2014 - 2:32 pm

      Me too I love candy cand is my life

      Reply
      • cowboy -  November 3, 2014 - 9:08 am

        me 2

        Reply
        • MIA:) -  October 26, 2015 - 1:21 pm

          ^^ same

          Reply
          • Harley Quinn -  November 1, 2016 - 9:04 am

            same

            I love candy

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