Word Origin & History
1924, from scoff
(q.v.) + law
. The winning entry in a national contest during Prohibition to coin a word to characterize a person who drinks illegally, chosen from more than 25,000 entries; the 0 winning prize was split between two contestants
who sent in the word separately, Henry Irving Dale and Miss Kate L. Butler. Other similar attempts did not stick, cf. pitilacker (1926), winning entry in Pennsylvania Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals contest to establish a scolding word for one who is cruel to animals (submitted by Mrs. M. McIlvaine Bready of Mickleton, N.J.).