Charles Cunningham Boycott (1832 – 1897)
was a wealthy land agent in Ireland. He employed
a large number labourers to work in his lands. The
farming in those days was mostly manual when
farming machines were yet to be produced.
Therefore, it entailed very hard labour. Boycott and
the other land owners made huge profits but paid
only meagre wages to the farm labourers. Repeated
appeal by the labourers were ignored by Boycott and
therefore the labourers became frustrated . At one
stage, the labourers refused to farm the lands of
Boycott .This move triggered a wide-spread ostracism
of land agents by the labourers. This historical event
came to be referred as the Irish Land War.Then, the
name Boycott became an eponymous word meaning
ostracism of something.
In 1908 Westminster Gazette in England used this
word as a verb dropping the the capital C and using
the lower case.Then, the Illustrated London News
extensively popularised by using it in its articles.
In the current usage, the verb boycott means to
withdraw from commercial or social relations with
an organization, a group as a protest. It is
synonymous with the words , spurn,shun, avoid.
Officially, this word was included in the Oxford
English Dictionary in 1888.