I found this one on another trending list at Etymonline.com — and found it quite interesting! Did you know that curfew is literally “cover fire”? It’s from the Old French cuevrefeu cuevre being “cover” and feu, of course, being “fire.” Why?

Well, it began in the Middle Ages, when a bell would ring at 8 or 9 p.m., signaling everyone to douse their fires…so that no one would fall asleep, leave the fires unattended, and so burn the whole village down. It came into English sometime in the 1300s as “a signal bell rung at a set time.”

This word took its time in evolving into “a period of restricted movement,” not taking on that meaning until the 1800s. But there we have it. When you give your kids a curfew, you’re really telling them to put out their fire and go to sleep. 😉

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