Why do we say “send someone to Coventry”?

The civil war origins of this everyday English phrase.

Why do we say "send someone to Coventry"? © Getty Images

Meaning “to deliberately ostracise someone”, this phrase originates from a 17th century English Civil War punishment, when Coventry was a Parliamentary stronghold. The king’s soldiers were so hated that Royalist prisoners were sent to Coventry, where it was felt they would be ignored.

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