Where Did the Word “Guy” Come From and What Does the Nickname Mean?

Every November 5, the British celebrate the 1605 foiling of a plot to blow up the parliament buildings by Guy Fawkes.

As part of the festivities, an effigy of Fawkes dressed in rags and old mismatched clothes was paraded through the streets and then burned on a bonfire.

By 1830, any man who was badly dressed was being referred to as a “guy,” meaning he looked as disheveled as the effigy of Guy Fawkes.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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