In the fall of 1880, the Irish Land League was working to help tenant farmers better their conditions during the Irish Land War. Here’s where the Englishman, Captain Charles Boycott, enters the scene. He was one of many land agents in this time who was targeted by a non-violent strategy of public ostracism. Not only did his laborers leave his fields, but reportedly, shops would not sell to him, nor would his mail be delivered.
All of his supplies had to be shipped from England, because no Irishman would deal with him.
Only a few months after the boycotting of Boycott, his name was first used as a verb, to “boycott” something, as in to no longer do business with, buy from, or spend time with. And the rest is history.