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In plain English, this means the term’s origin is likely Germanic, even though no one can as yet point to the precise word it came down to us from out of all the possible candidates.
Further, a few scholars hold differing pet theories outside of the Germanic origin one, theories which appear to have some holes in them.
Were the king responsible for handing out such permissions, he wouldn’t have time to do anything else (or even to keep up with that one task).
In light of this, any claim wedded couples trying to entice the stork down their chimney were granted fornication permits crashes against the rock of the wrong word being used.
One last nail in the coffin of the ‘fornication under consent of the king’ origin comes from the word ‘fornication’ itself.
Though many reasonably conclude fornication is the old-time word for having sex, the term specifically excludes the physical union of man and wife.
In ancient England single people could not have sex unless they had consent of the king. Supposedly "swive" was excised from texts by the Censors and replaced with the inscription "For Unlawful Carnal (or Cardinal? At least this is what I learned in college — or was it the streets?
The dirty copulatory word back in days of yore was "swive".