Thursday, October 23, 2008

Word of the Day

scofflaw\SKAHFF-law\n. 1: a contemptuous law violator

Example Sentence: The governor's office set up a database listing the names of scofflaws who hadn't paid their traffic fines.

Did you know? In 1924, a wealthy Massachusetts Prohibitionist named Delcevare King sponsored a contest in which he asked participants to coin an appropriate word to mean "a lawless drinker." King sought a word that would cast violators of Prohibition laws in a light of shame. Two respondents came up independently with the winning word: "scofflaw," formed by combining the verb "scoff" and the noun "law." Hanry Dale and Kate Butler, also of Massachusetts, split King's $200 prize. improbably, despite some early scoffing from language critics, "scofflaw" managed to pick up steam in English and expand to a meaning that went beyond it's Prohibition roots, referring to one who violates any law, not just laws related to drinking.

My use: They need to lock all repeat scofflaw's away and throw away the key.

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