Well that expression had me thinking? What is its etymology? In other words - where did it come from?
Thanks to my friend, Google, I found out it had nothing to do with my preconceptions of it being related to Scotland, but I wasn’t too far off.
The expression Scot free originates from the Scandinavian word “skat”, which translates into “tax” or “payment”. Like many words, this one changed over time into “scot” by the time it reached Britain in the tenth century. Back then, someone who did not have to pay taxes was referred to as “scot free”.
A further change to the word occurred in the 16th century, when it also was used to describe a person who received no punishment for their actions, and to this day it is still largely used in this manner.
Know of any other interesting expressions you want me to write about? Share in the comments or send me a message.
The Phrase Finder