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Origin of term 'french letter'?

Posted by Corinne on May 02, 2000

I would like to know what the origin is of the word French letter (for: condom).

The use of the term 'letter' seems quite straightforward: a condom is a bit like an envelope in that it envelopes ...

The french have a reputation of being romantic.

All this is speculation. I found one place on the Net where it says it dates back to 1856. No more.