Etymology
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scofflaw (n.)

"person who disregards laws," 1924, from scoff (v.) + law (n.). The winning entry (from among more than 25,000) in a national contest during Prohibition to coin a word to characterize a person who drinks illegally. The $200 prize was shared by two contestants who sent in the word separately: Henry Irving Dale and Miss Kate L. Butler.

Similar attempts did not stick, such as pitilacker (1926), winning entry in a contest by the Pennsylvania Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals to establish a scolding word for one who deliberately mistreats animals (submitted by Mrs. M. McIlvaine Bready of Mickleton, N.J.).

updated on February 03, 2022

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