Wednesday Words and Phrases: Curfew

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Almost nothing would get you in trouble more when you were growing up than staying out after curfew. You know, that time that your mom said you had to be inside by of else you were in deep stuff. Did you every wonder where that word came from?

It can be traced all the way back to the Norman invasion of England in 1066. In order to keep the local population under control, William the Conqueror demanded that all native¬†people stay inside after dark. Norman soldiers patrolled the streets and paths along the way would yell out, “Couvre feu!” Yep, that’s French. In English, it would translate to “Cover the Fire!”¬†

This was the signal to put out the fires and the candles and get in bed. Eventually, it became curfew. Now you know what your mom and William the Conqueror have in common.