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Peeping Tom

A peeping Tom is someone who secretly watches people as they undress or engage in sexual activity in order to obtain gratification. A peeping Tom is a voyeur. The term peeping Tom is derived from the story of Lady Godiva. Lady Godiva reputedly rode naked through the town of Coventry in the 1000s to protest the high taxes her husband had imposed. The townsfolk of Coventry agreed to avert their eyes in order to preserve Lady Godiva’s modesty, but one man named Tom peeked as Lady Godiva rode past. Though the story of Lady Godiva dates back to the 1100s, the added detail of the peeping Tom isn’t added until the 1700s. Note that only the name Tom is capitalized in the term peeping Tom.


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Examples

A Fort Collins man arrested earlier this week on peeping Tom allegations died by suicide Friday morning when law enforcement officers knocked on his door to serve a search warrant. (The Coloradoan)

That case was investigated by university police, and Maureen Mead, then coach of the diving team, was charged with interception of communication, peeping Tom and altering evidence, according to online court records. (The Baltimore Sun)

Peeping Tom caught, thrashed by public (The Hindu)

Port Alberni RCMP are warning residents after three reports of “peeping Tom” incidents at area homes since December. (The Times Colonist)

Peeping Tom Andrew Russel, a former police chief inspector, posted an online advert for members to join a new “choir with a twist”. (The Daily Record)

DNA sample, detective work lead to arrest and sex assault conviction of coercive peeping Tom (The Omaha World-Herald)

‘Peeping Tom stabbed girlfriend multiple times then went clothes shopping and caught bus to London’, court hears (The Mirror)

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