Trivia

Hard

The Word “Boycott” Entered The English Language By Way Of?

Iron Workers Striking
The French Revolution
Irish Farming Protests
A U.S. Ban On British Goods

Answer: Irish Farming Protests

The history of words, etymology, is a fascinating subject. Often times our knowledge of where a word originates is murky and a best guess. Other times we can, with extreme precision and a bit of interesting trivia along the way, pinpoint the exact moment in history where a word was born or took on a modern meaning.

In the case of the word boycott, to refuse to do business with a person or organization, we can wind back the clock to 1880 and see exactly when the word took on modern usage. In the late summer of 1880, the Irish Land League was actively trying to better the working conditions of Irish tenant farmers. At the same time a British agent, Captain Charles Boycott, was attempting to collect rent and crops from the tenants. The Irish Land League encouraged the farmers to forgo any kind of violence against the agent of the British land owners and to simply refuse to do any business with him.

In order to give the common people a simple word they could latch onto and rally behind, Father O’Malley, a prominent member of the Irish Land League, coined the term “boycott” as a verb to stand in for the action of refusing to do business with someone as a form of protest and ostracization from the community. The press picked up on the word and ran with it, and today Captain Charles Boycott is immortalized in that coinage.

Trivia

Hard

What’s The Most Popular Screen Resolution Among Internet Browsers?

Trivia

Hard

Which Super Hero Movie Went Into Production Without A Full Script?

Trivia

Hard

The Most Common Source Of “Hay Fever” Is?

Trivia

Easy

Which Beverage Do Astronauts Avoid?

Trivia

Hard

The Vine B. Trifoliolata Is The Only Plant In The World Known To?

Trivia

Hard

The Finnish People Survived A Great Famine In The 1860s By Eating?

Trivia

Hard

Albertville, France Generates Electricity With Gas Produced By What Unusual Source?

Trivia

Hard

What Modern Computer Term Derives Its Name From Metal Casting?

Trivia

Hard

NASA Was Created Under Which U.S. President?

Trivia

Easy

The Chinese New Year Isn’t A Fixed Date But Governed By?