One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A legal code established by Napoleon I and based on Roman law, which was introduced in 1804 and still constitutes the French civil law code; (also in extended use) any of a number of other legal systems which are derived from this, such as the civil codes of Louisiana and Quebec.
Mid 19th century; earliest use found in Harper's Magazine. After French code Napoléon.
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