Make Your Editor Cry: Get Off Scotch Free vs. Get Off Scot-Free
With roots in Middle English, this idiom means that a person or group which has usually been suspected of, or tried for, some malfeasance doesn’t get the fine, sentence, or punishment that is deserved.
In 14th century Middle English, the word scot meant a tax payment or a fine. This word came from the Old Norse word skot which meant a contribution or tribute.
When you describe someone escaping without any punishments or repercussions, make sure you don’t accidentally malign a resident of Scotland, Scotch whiskey, or Scotch® tape. The correct (and hyphenated) phrase is scot-free.
Gregg Bridgeman is the Editor-in-Chief at Olivia Kimbrell Press. He is husband to best-selling Christian author Hallee Bridgeman and parent to three. He continues to proudly serve in the US Armed Forces and has done so in either an active or reserve capacity for more than twenty years as an airborne and air assault qualified paratrooper, earning a Bronze Star for his service. Most importantly, he was ordained in October of 2001 after surrendering his life to Christ decades earlier.