Lieu Lieu (l[=u]), n. [F., OF. also liu, leu, lou, fr. L. locus place. See Local, Locus.] Place; room; stead; — used only in the phrase in lieu of, that is, instead of.

Not too terribly long after 9/11, some friends received a note to the following effect (paraphrased from memory except for the phrase “in lieu of”) from their kids’ school’s administration:

Dear parents,

In lieu of the war on terror, [school] is implementing the following measures:

[insert a bunch of silly security theatrics here]

I came across the same bizarre usage this morning in another context.

This one isn’t complicated: “In lieu of …” means “instead of …” not “because of …” or “due to …”

Imported from the original KN@PPSTER