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Sunday, 8 April 2012

Origin of "Villain"

In 14th century English, "villain" meant a peasant or labourer, and had not criminal connotation. However, because of suspicions that all criminals were low-born, and members of the labouring classes, gradually all criminals were labelled villains. The original meaning was lost over the years and nowadays, though we know those at the top of the economic spectrum are just as likely to break the law as anyone else, we still use the old word for peasant to mean criminal or widked person.
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