be sent to Coventry
be sent to CoventryBRITISH, OLD-FASHIONED
If you are sent to Coventry, other people ignore you and refuse to talk to you because they disapprove of something you have done. Rumours about his private life started circulating among his colleagues and he soon found himself sent to Coventry. Note: Various origins have been suggested for this expression. During the English Civil War, Royalist prisoners from Birmingham were sent to prison in Coventry, a city which strongly supported the Parliamentarian side. Another suggestion is that the people of Coventry disliked soldiers so much that they refused to have anything to do with any woman who was seen talking to a soldier. As a result, soldiers did not like being sent to Coventry, where it was difficult to have social contact with anyone.