why is a condom called a french letter whats the reason?

10 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favourite answer

    The condom in fact derives from the Roman Empire and was indeed made of sheep gut, but it was not much used (the legion was laid low with herpes when the Goths invaded).

    The French aristocracy used them widely, however, as early as the 17th century. Madame de Sevigne, writing in 1671, dismissed the use of condoms as "armour against enjoyment and a spider's web against danger". Seventy years later, the Venetian adventurer Casanova became its most ardent supporter.

    In Britain the condom was viewed as a dirty Continental fetish, something for harlots or sailors. They remained curious about them, however, and young men taking the Grand Tour (through Europe via France, Italy and Greece to Constantinople and beyond) would, if sending a message home with a returning tourist, enclose a condom... thus a French letter. The culture and culinary clash of the English / French on the Grand Tour also gave rise to the terms "Rostbifs" (English) and "Frogs" (French).

    The French practice of calling them English Coats derives simply from the eternal enmity of these two countries; ever keen to credit each other with things regarded as unpleasant. Ascribing "bad" habits and plagues to your nearest neighbours has always been common in Europe; during the 1917-1920 influenza pandemic the disease was called Spanish Flu in southern France, German Fever in Belgium, Greek Flu in Turkey and Arabian Flu in Greece.

    On the subject of sex consider "buggery" from "bulgary" - what the English considered to be the practice of Bulgars - something the Italians (and today Americans) have long refered to as "Greek". There are also references to "Tartary" - nasty stuff the Tartars (Turks) were thought to get up to. Nothing brings out racial suspicion like sex!

  • Erika
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    French Letters

  • Anonymous
    4 years ago


    Source(s): Herpes Treatment http://enle.info/HerpesFreeForever/?k7OW
  • mad
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    Additionally I might mention that this caused a few problems to French teachers in the days when this term was commonly used; 'Todays lesson is on French letters' - oops!

    Source(s): Ex French teacher
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  • 1 decade ago

    I researched the internet for these answers

    "a condom in French is a capote Anglaise = English overcoat, which adds further confusion."


    "I believe it stems from the fact that they were issued to British soldiers on leave in France during World War One."

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I believe it stems from the fact that they were issued to British soldiers on leave in France during World War One.

  • 1 decade ago

    Just a guess,

    many french letters have a 'circumflex' above them.

    That could be why, if someone can find something dirty in that....i did.... :-S

    Erm, the french are stereotyped as romantic...?

  • 1 decade ago

    The first contaceptive devices of this type were developed in France. They were made of animal organs - possibly intestine and were later imported into Britain They became known there by their present name. All of this in the early 1800s, I think.

  • Anonymous
    6 years ago

    There are two types of herpes simplex virus: HSV-1 and HSV-2. Both virus types can cause sores around the mouth (herpes labialis) and on the genitals (genital herpes). Cold sores are caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV).

    Cold sores sometimes called fever blisters, are groups of small blisters on the lip and around the mouth. The skin around the blisters is often red, swollen, and sore. The blisters may break open, leak a clear fluid, and then scab over after a few days. They usually heal in several days to 2 weeks.

    The herpes simplex virus usually enters the body through a break in the skin around or inside the mouth. It is usually spread when a person touches a cold sore or touches infected fluid—such as from sharing eating utensils or razors, kissing an infected person, or touching that person's saliva. A parent who has a cold sore often spreads the infection to his or her child in this way. Cold sores can also be spread to other areas of the body.

    Luckly there is a cure for herpes https://tr.im/d316d

  • 1 decade ago

    Dope is of great quality.... isn't it?

    Stop doing it or it will damage your brain permanently!

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