We do this word keeping in mind the current state of affairs in the world. This is yesterday’s speech of President Obama, declaring Osama Bin Laden is dead (just in case you have not seen this clip till now).
If one were to identify one of the biggest absconders in the world, it will have to be Osama Bin Laden. In fact, there has been no bigger manhunt in human history than of Osama’s.
And Americans do have a term for such offenders, who are on the run from law: SCOFFLAW
The dictionary definitions for Scofflaw are as follows:
1. A person who habitually flouts or violates the law, esp one who fails to pay debts or answer summons (noun).
Origin of the word Scofflaw:
Scofflaw is a rare phenomenon in English. Its origin has purely human origins.
In fact scofflaw is the combination of two words, scoff and law. By extension we have,
SCOFFLAW= SCOFF at LAW
Scoff means to mock at or treat with disdain, contempt or disrespect. And when you scoff at law, you show complete disrespect for it. Hence, the meaning of the word: law-offender
The word came into origin when in a contest in Prohibition years in the US of 1920s, a word was sort for someone who did not obey and law and consumed alcohol. The $200 award went two individuals who came up the innovative entry of scofflaw. Over the period of time, the word expanded its meaning from its specific reference of illicit drinking and is now used to refer to anyone flouts the law.