The Origin Of The Phrase Sent To Coventry

The phrase sent to Coventry comes from The English Civil Wars of the 1640s. The Royalist troops, nicknamed The Cavaliers, who were captured in Birmingham by the Roundheads, lead by Oliver Cromwell, were sent to a Parliamentary stronghold prison in Coventry.

It could also come from the time after the Civil Wars when people from Coventry disliked the military so would ignore and shun the troops.

The phrase has come to mean being shunned or ignored. The usage of the phrase was popularised during industrial disputes in the UK during the 20th Century. Workers who would not support the Unions were sent to Coventry by the other workers and ignored.

During the Second World War Coventry was bombed by the German Luftwaffe Air Force and this added emphasise to the phrase because being sent there meant you were disliked because there was not much there after the bombs had caused destruction.

More phrase origins.

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