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. (What does the “een” in “Halloween” mean exactly? The answer lies here.)

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.

The earliest reference of the term “trick or treat” in print was in 1927, in Alberta, Canada. It appears as if the practice didn’t really take hold in the U.S. until the mid-1930s, where it was not 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.” 

Trick or treating today is now practiced in northwestern and central Mexico. But instead of saying “trick or treat,” children ask, ¿me da mi calaverita?, which means “can you give me my little skull?”

Finally, who is the “Jack” in “Jack O’ Lantern?” Be warned; this tale might give you the chills.

Apple and the brick bat.(MOBILE MEDIA) this web site google voice app

The Online Reporter October 16, 2009 While Apple is no longer turning jailbroken phones into “bricks” via new updates, the company has taken one big crack at pirates with its latest update.

For the past seven months, jailbreaking software has relied on the “24kPwn” exploit. How it works isn’t nearly as important as the latest shipment of iPhone 3GS models, for which the exploit has been fixed.

For app developers, the biggest anti-piracy tools seem to be making significant updates regularly (pirated apps can’t grab these updates) and using their own online authentication servers for initial activation.

The exploit-patch-fix version of cat-and-mouse will continue for some time and there will be a lot of complaints about by pirates about Apple being too restrictive and the closed network not allowing them to do what they want. Conspiracy theorists will divine some massive monopoly scheme because the Google Voice app still isn’t available. in our site google voice app

The real reason, however, for Apple’s approach is simple: If a user downloads an app from its store that fries his phone, he’ll run to Apple or AT&T and put the blame squarely on them, demanding a replacement. These companies have to handle the ecosystem the way they are until people treat them more like ISPs–as in not blaming them for what content is used when all they do is take users to the content.


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


  2. lalys -  October 27, 2011 - 7:32 pm

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

  3. 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?

  4. 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?

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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?

  8. 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?

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


    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.


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