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We’ve been fascinated with the Duggar family ever since the airing of 19 Kids and Counting. While the biggest physical difference between the Duggars and the majority of us is the sheer number of people in their family, we also can’t help but get wrapped up in the ultra-conservative rules Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar set for their kids. From courting rituals to how they spend their free time, there’s no doubt this family is anything but ordinary.

One rule, in particular, came across as shocking to the majority of Duggar fans — and that was that the family had a code word. Here’s what the code word is and why it exists in the household.

First, the Duggar women have a very strict dress code

The Duggars are firm believers that women should dress modestly and shouldn’t tempt men with their outfits, so it makes sense that they would have a code word in line with these views. As for what Michelle and Jim Bob request the girls to wear, they’re fans of high necklines, skirts that fall well below the knee, and nothing too form-fitting.

Michelle has explained her rationale for this dress code on a blog post for TLC, Romper reminds us. In her words, “By keeping those private areas covered, there’s not any ‘defrauding’ going on. My kids are taught the definition of defrauding as stirring up desires that cannot be righteously fulfilled. We don’t believe in defrauding others by the way we dress.” She even went on to explain that she had to teach her daughters about modesty when they were extremely little. “As a parent I would have to remind them, let’s not stand upside down on your head in that chair because you want to practice being ladylike,” she said.

The code word ‘Nike’ is to warn the Duggar boys of a provocative woman

While the Duggar daughters feel as if they have a responsibility to others to dissuade any desirable feelings through the way they dress, they also feel as if they have a responsibility to help their brothers avoid their desires, too. Cosmopolitan reports in the book Growing Up Duggar, the four oldest Duggar daughters explained the code word that was to be whispered if they saw a woman coming their way that wasn’t dressed appropriately according to their standards. This code word was “Nike,” and it was to warn the men of the woman. When the code word was whispered, the men would then have the opportunity to avert their gaze.

As the Duggar daughters wrote, “That’s a signal to the boys, and even to Dad, that they should nonchalantly drop their eyes and look down at their shoes as we walk past her. … It’s meant to help keep the guys’ eyes from seeing things they shouldn’t be seeing.”

The Duggar women have gotten more lax with their wardrobe after they married

For the girls still living under Jim Bob and Michelle’s roof, they’re certainly abiding by the dress code they’ve known their entire lives. But many of the Duggar women who are married seem to be much more lax with how they dress now. In Touch Weekly reminds us Jinger Duggar was one of the first to be seen wearing pants — a huge no-no for her growing up. After that, we also spotted Jill and Jessa on social media in pants. And the publication notes Michelle also seems to have loosened up on this rule, as she’s seen wearing them, too.

Duggar family rules state that once the women are married, their husbands set the new precedent on what’s appropriate — so it seems they’ve picked some less-traditional husbands than Jim Bob. Even so, we can barely call wearing pants scandalous. We’re sure there’d be much more uproar if the ladies were seen in club wear.

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