1. To abstain from buying or using
1. The act of boycotting
Boycott was first attested in 1880, and it comes from the ostracism of Captain Charles C. Boycott, a land agent in County Mayo, Ireland who refused to lower rents for his tenant farmers. Farmers at the time were advised to stop using force to retaliate against landlords. Instead, a man named Charles Stuart Parnell suggested a system of organized ostracisation against unfair and overbearing landowners. Captain Boycott was very unpopular with his tenants, so in September 1880 they joined forces to isolate and alienate him. People quit working their regular jobs and local tradesmen refused to do business with him. Even the postmaster stopped delivering his mail! He tried to fight back with military force, but he treated the servicemen so poorly they eventually joined the tenants' side. At some point Boycott abandoned his lands and was never seen again.
|Captain Boycott (source)|