Reference > Brewer’s Dictionary > Ef’figy.

E. Cobham Brewer 1810–1897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
To burn or hang one in effigy. To burn or hang the representation of a person, instead of the person himself, in order to show popular hatred, dislike, or contempt. The custom comes from France, where the public executioner used to hang the effigy of the criminal when the criminal himself could not be found.   1



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