To send someone to Coventry
The term is defined in Francis Grose’s The Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue (1811):
To send one to Coventry; a punishment inflicted by officers of the army on such of their brethren as are testy, or have been guilty of improper behaviour … The person sent to Coventry is considered as absent; no one must speak to or answer any question he asks, except relative to duty, under penalty of being also sent to the same place. On a proper submission, the penitent is recalled, and welcomed by the mess, as just returned from a journey to Coventry.
We sent him to Coventry after realising that he had been cheating at Monopoly the whole time!
The cricket team has been banished to Coventry for accepting bribes. No one wants to watch the match since that scandal.
Admitting you listen to Justin Bieber while attending a rock concert is like condemning yourself to Coventry! Of course, for people who prefer pop music, this is perfectly acceptable.
- Best of both worlds(3/3/2020)
- A blessing in disguise(3/3/2020)
- A dime a dozen(3/3/2020)