The French reputation for being a rude breed has a long history. During the eighteenth century, the French had a bizarre custom: they would take their leave from a soirée without bothering to say goodbye to their host or hostess. During the American Revolution, naive Americans would invite French soldiers to party down at their plantations, and would get offended when the Francs would depart without so much as an "adieu." The offending Frenchman would be described as having taken "French leave." In World War I, the term was applied to soldiers who deserted from their units without permission, and later came to be used for any circumstance under which one makes a thoughtless departure.