Definition of scofflaw
: a contemptuous law violator
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. Henry 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 its Prohibition roots, referring to one who violates any law, not just laws related to drinking.
First Known Use of scofflaw
Rhymes with scofflaw
backsaw, band saw, bear claw, bedstraw, blue law, bucksaw, buzz saw, bylaw, case law, catclaw, cat's-paw, chain saw, Choctaw, coleslaw, Corn Law, crenshaw, cumshaw, cushaw, Danelaw, declaw, Esau, forepaw, fretsaw, glass jaw, grandma, grandpa, guffaw, hacksaw, handsaw, hawkshaw, hee-haw, hurrah, in-law, jackdaw, jackstraw, jigsaw, kickshaw, last straw, leash law, lockjaw, lynch law, macaw, Moose Jaw, Nassau, old-squaw, outdraw, outlaw, pasha, pawpaw, pit saw, pooh-bah, poor law, rickshaw, ringtaw, ripsaw, scrimshaw, scroll saw, seesaw, shield law, southpaw, Skiddaw, tack claw, trishaw, tussah, undraw, Utah, Warsaw, whipsaw, wiredraw, withdraw
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