History Fact of the Day:
The origins of the word “guy.”
Every 5th of November, the English celebrate “Guy Fawkes Night,” which is named after the infamous member of the “Gunpowder Plot” conspiracy of 1605 (which plays a major part in the graphic novel/film “V for Vendetta”).
The object of the conspiracy was to blow up Parliament and assassinate King James I. The conspirators wanted to kill the Protestant king and reestablish a Catholic monarchy.
On the morning of November 5, 1605, the plan was leaked, Guy Fawkes was caught, and the plot was thwarted. Every November 5th thereafter, the English developed the tradition of burning effigies of “Guy” and celebrating the failure of the plot.
By the 1800s, people started using the word “guy” to refer to anyone who dressed in a strange or sloppy fashion (probably because it reminded them of the effigy, which was crude in appearance).
Eventually, the negative associations gradually slipped away, and “guy” became the informal form of address that we have today.