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The Life of Guy – Guy Fawkes, the Gunpowder Plot, and the Unlikely History of an Indispensable Word - Oxford Scholarship Online
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The Life of Guy: Guy Fawkes, the Gunpowder Plot, and the Unlikely History of an Indispensable Word

Allan Metcalf

Abstract

This book is about the name “Guy” and its slow, mostly unnoticed development over four centuries since it began on November 5, 1605, with the suddenly famous Guy Fawkes, who was arrested just in time just before he could light the fuse on 36 barrels of gunpowder to blow up the House of Lords. During those four centuries, “Guy” became “guy,” the name for an effigy of Guy Fawkes burned at bonfires every November 5 since. The effigy was called a “guy,” so that more than one effigy would be “guys,” Then, slowly, “guy” extended its signification into a name for a ragged, lower-class male, then any ... More

Keywords: “guy, ” “guys, ” “you guys, ” pronoun, second-person plural

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2019 Print ISBN-13: 9780190669201
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2019 DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190669201.001.0001

Authors

Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Allan Metcalf, author
Professor of English and Executive Secretary (CAO) of the American Dialect Society, MacMurray College