Monday, April 16th, 2012

In modern use, scot-free means free of penalties — he got off scot-free — but that’s not quite what it originally meant:


From Old Norse skot, later influenced by Old French escot (Modern écot), itself of Germanic origin. Compare shot.

(UK, historical) A local tax, paid originally to the lord or ruler and later to a sheriff.

I can’t remember the last time we got off scot-free.

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