Peeping Tom: A Medieval Creeper

Hello Bologna followers. Are you ready for this weeks lesson? If you are, awesome! If you aren’t, well, that’s too bad because I’m starting… NOW.

Okay so I figure this week, we’ll go full on creeper & I’ll explain the origins of a very common name.

When I say, “Peeping Tom,” I guarantee that 99% of you will understand what I’m talking about. However, if you didn’t already know that a peeping Tom is a sicko who creeps on women by watching through windows & holes in fences & things like that, then you probably could’ve figured it out.

Anyway, this phrase dates back to the 13th century legend of Lady Godiva (who was, in fact, a real person who founded a monestary with her husband in 1043).

Now, according to the legend, her husband, Leofric, Earl of Mercia, was greedy & taxed the peasants in Coventry unfairly. See taxes back then weren’t the same as they were now. The government was very much a mob-like hierarchy, with each rank of nobility kicking a cut of their taxes to the next one, until it reached the king. This resulted in a lot of money being pocketed & the distribution of wealth to be absurdly one sided. Lady Godiva didn’t approve of this & repeatedly asked Leofric to change his tax strategy, but he would’t listen. He finally became sick of hearing about it & made a deal with her. Being the “fair & just” man he was, he proposed lowering taxes, but only if she humiliated herself by riding a horse through town. Not so bad, right? Wrong: he catch was that she had to ride naked. To his surprise, she accepted & did so, but not before warning the townspeople & asking them to shutter their windows & look away. Everyone in Coventry respectfully complied, except for one man. He looked through his partially shuttered window & in some weird case of irony, was instantly struck blind. Try to guess his name.

The legend names him simply as Tom.

Ever since then, dudes who like to creepily & secretly stare at women have been called Peeping Toms.

On that note. Now you know. You’re welcome.

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2 Comments

Filed under Etymology

2 responses to “Peeping Tom: A Medieval Creeper

  1. Um, did you forget my request? Jerk.

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