blue laws

Stringent legal measures dealing with private morals and conduct, especially the puritanical laws of the early American colonies. The term "blue" originated in England where it was associated with strict adherents of Puritanism, since to be constant, faithful, or "true blue" was considered Puritanic. The more liberal inhabitants of the New York colony are believed to have stigmatized their stricter neighbors in New Haven as "blue" and the term is sometimes traced to the covers of blue paper which bound the session laws of Connecticut. Among those actually enacted were prohibitions against unnecessary Sunday travel, mixed dancing, gambling, regulations regarding wearing apparel, the obligation of belonging to an approved church imposed upon all freemen, voters, and military officers, and laws against Catholic priests and Quakers.

New Catholic Dictionary

NCD Index SQPN Contact Author