How the word ‘Boycott’ came into existence

Did you know that the word ‘Boycott’ was formed out of a person’s name? It came into existence during the Irish Land War.
The name of that person is Charles Boycott.


Charles Cunningham Boycott, born on 12th March 1832, served in the British Army 39th Foot. He retired from army and landed as Lord Erne’s land agent in Ireland. 

So during the poor Harvest year, Lord Erne offered his tenants only a 10% reduction in their rent while the tenant protesters demanded 25% reduction. Then the Captain Boycott was asked to evict those people for their demand. He did attempt to evict the tenants but that didn’t go well with the tenants. 

As the aftermath, Captain Boycott got boycotted:

His employees refused to work in the fields, stables and in his house any longer. The local postman didn’t deliver his mails. Even the local businessmen stopped trading with the captain. His story got covered in newspapers.
He tried to continue to live there after this ostracism but nothing of his attempts worked out. Eventually, this led to him and his family moving away. 

The word ‘boycott’ was widely used then.
Finally, it got introduced in 1888 in A New English Dictionary on Historical Principles (which is now the Oxford English Dictionary).



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