One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
The alleged right of a medieval feudal lord to have sexual intercourse with a vassal's bride on her wedding night.
- ‘The count plots to exercise his droit de seigneur, the right of titled men to deflower the brides of lesser folk.’
- ‘Regret about the abolition of droit de seigneur and the right of feudal overlords to flog peasants may be comic, but it is hardly an interesting political philosophy.’
- ‘This seems somewhat churlish: what is the point of having an knighthood if you can't exercise the ancient rights that this charming custom affords - such as droit de seigneur and queue-jumping in swanky restaurants.’
French, literally ‘lord's right’.
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