If your name is Scott and you didn’t make it to the party, you could argue that party is Scott-free, but what about other uses of this phrase?
- Is it about being sober? (Scotch free)
- Is it about excluding anyone Scottish? (Scot Free)
I’ve heard some great thoughts about where this expression comes from—and what the correct version of this expression actually is—but let me put your mind at ease.
The correct spelling is “scot free.”
However, it has nothing to do with the Scots, as in the Scottish.
In medieval England, there was a tax called a “scot,” and if someone was able to avoid paying it, they would be getting off “scot free.” And over 800 years later, we still use the expression when someone gets away with something without being punished or penalized.
It has nothing to do with a lack of bagpipes, scotch whiskey, or people named Scott. Now you know.
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