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Scofflaw - Prize-Winning Prohibition Word During America's Prohibition years, violations of the Volstead Act (which outlawed the sale, transportation, and manufacture of alcoholic beverages) were widespread. In 1924, an ardent Massachusetts prohibitionist named Delcevare King offered a $200 prize to anyone who could create a new word that would heap shame the lawless drinkers and those who enabled them. Two entrants--both from Massachusetts--named Henry Dale and Kate Butler each came up with the same winning word: scofflaw. It was clever a combination of the verb scoff (meaning to mock, deride or ridicule) and, of course, law. Dale and Butler split the $200 prize. The word did catch on and, over the years, scofflaw has expanded its meaning to encompass those who willfully break any law--not just liquor statutes.
Tags: Prohibition  scofflaw  contest  lexicography 
Added: 7th December 2017
Views: 683
Posted By: Lava1964
Posted by: Lava1964 on 2017-12-07 
Here's a fun fact: Did you know the cruise industry began in the 1920s as a way to skirt Prohibition laws? Ships would be chartered for day trips and sail just outside the limit of America's shores. Once the ships entered international waters, American Prohibition laws did not apply--much to the anger and frustration of the drys.
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