The word ‘quarantine’ derives from the Venetian dialect of Italian and the words ‘quaranta giorni’, meaning ‘forty days’. This is because when it was discovered that ships were infested with plague-carrying rats they were made to sit at anchor outside Venice’s city walls for forty days before coming ashore.


DidYouKnowStuff.com
The word ‘quarantine’ derives from the Venetian dialect of Italian and the words ‘quaranta giorni’, meaning ‘forty days’. This is because when it was discovered that ships were infested with plague-carrying rats they were made to sit at anchor outside Venice’s city walls for forty days before coming ashore.