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Will the real Guy please stand up!
Or perhaps it was CECIL Guy or Guido: that is the question.What about the contemporary word "guy"? Was Guy baptised Guido or Guy, or is Guido just a translation? Was he given that name because of uglyness? Perhaps someone will go to York and check baptismal records (see Cast Of Characters)
Guy:1. A guide rope: OFF gui or guie, a guide, from OF-MF guier, to guide, from Frankish uitan, witan, to indicate a direction: cf E guide, q.v. at vide, para 10. 2.a ragged, ludicrous- even grotesque- effigy of Guy Fawkes of the Gunpowder Plot: F Guy, var Gui: LL Uitus (ML Vitus), as in -St. Vitus's dance-, rendering F -danse de Saint-Guy- (cf the E var St. Guy's dance): the child martyr Vitus was invoked by epileptics, said to have danced before his image.
Eric Partridge, Origins, Macmillan, New York,1959From the Word of the Day 11/1/00
James I of England, a Protestant, was a very unpopular king who managed to anger both the
Protestants and the Catholics. The Catholics were especially incensed because James had
been exiling Jesuits from England. A group of Catholics, among them a man named Guy
Fawkes (also known as Guido when he enlisted in the Spanish Army and served in the
Netherlands), came up with a scheme, known as the Gunpowder Plot, to blow up the king
along with Parliament on November 5, 1605. They hoped that, in the ensuing chaos, they
could put a Catholic king on the throne. However, someone tipped off King James. Although
not the leader of the plot, the unfortunate Guy was found in the basement of the House of
Lords in the company of 36 barrels of gunpowder. He was arrested, signed a confession
implicating others, and was hanged for treason along with six of his co-conspirators in
January 1606. That same year, November 5 became a national holiday.
Guy Fawkes Day
is still celebrated with fireworks and bonfires. Children parade through
So, guy originally
referred to an effigy of Guy Fawkes or some other detested person. Trollope
The word guy
crossed the Atlantic late in the 19th century and, in American usage, came
By the 1940s,
guy was being used to refer to a person of either sex: "She's a good guy.
Guy has had a
few other meanings over the years. In 19th-century America, it referred
The guy in "guy
wire," by the way, has nothing to do with "guy" it comes from Old French
Any etymologists in the house? Are we to take the application of the term Guy to Mr. Fawkes as an insult or as a title of leadership? You tell us! Mail us!
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