Monday, April 23, 2012


Today we associate a curfew with parents imposing a set time for their children to come home or to go to bed. In some areas a curfew can have serious consequences for those who do not obey, such as a curfew imposed by the military in some countries. This term actually does have a military origin.
William the Conqueror

After the Norman invasion of England in 1066, William the Conqueror required civilians to remain indoors after dark. Soldiers patrolled during the night yelling out “Couvre feu” which means to “cover the fire.” All candles and fires were to be put out and everyone was to go to bed.

Eventually the term Couvre feu became curfew, as we know it today. However, one of the main differences between the curfew that your parents gave you and the one that the Normans imposed was that the Normans were not as forgiving if you missed your curfew.

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