I am infinitely interested in the way in which language comes about. Today, I got a small glimpse at the origin of the word boycott. This has been one of the words that I cannot see the route words for and so, I am surprised the urge to see into it’s past has not lept out at me before.
The word actually doesn’t originate from any root words or the like, but rather it comes from the name of the person who was first boycotted. It originates from the name of Captain Charles Boycott, who was a landowner. He tried to raise taxes for the Earl of Erne, who refused to do so. The constabulary was sent and, in resistance, the women threw rocks and manure at them, meaning they were unable to serve the notices to the heads of households. Boycott was shunned and those who worked for him left after external pressure. Businesses refused to work for him or with him, making it difficult for him to even buy food.
Words can find meaning in so many different ways, even when it is out of, perhaps spite. The human language is a thing that is ever evolving, ever developing thing that we may see change even within our life times.