Boycott

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.

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