Monday, February 06, 2017

Don't boycott this blog, my friend

Charles Boycott
Everybody's boycotting everything this year, and I think it's great. There is so much to boycott. You can't do this in other countries. If you do, you get shot. So everybody boycott away.

Did you ever ask yourself where the word boycott came from? You didn't? Oh, come on. Of course you did. Just in case, I'm now going to tell you.

Turns out that it’s an eponym (Greek “upon a name”), a lower-cased word that started life as a person’s name, Richard Lederer writes.
Captain Charles Cunningham Boycott (1832-1897), an Irish land agent, so enraged his tenants with his rent-collection policies that they threatened his life and property and burnt his figure in effigy. When Boycott attempted to evict all tenants who could not pay in full, they shunned and isolated him. His laborers stopped work in the fields and stables, as well as in his home. Local businessmen ceased trading with him, and the postman refused to deliver his mail. Hence, from Ireland comes the verb boycott, which means “to coerce an opponent through ostracism.”
You can read all about it here. It was all very exciting. The Army got involved, as did the press, sending correspondents to the West of Ireland to highlight what they viewed as the victimisation of a servant of a peer of the realm by Irish nationalists. So nothing ever changes.

Boycott seemed to have a knack for trouble.
Boycott was involved in a number of disputes while on Achill. Two years after his arrival, he was unsuccessfully sued for assault by Thomas Clarke, a local man. Clarke said that he had gone to Boycott's house because Boycott owed him money. He said that he had asked for repayment of the debt, and that Boycott had refused to pay him and told him to go away, which Clarke refused to do. Clarke alleged that Boycott approached him and said: "If you do not be off, I will make you." Clarke later withdrew his allegations, and said that Boycott did not actually owe him any money.
There you go.

No comments:

Post a Comment