• scotch free
  • scot free
  • scott free

Meaning | Synonyms

  • to be rid of all the blame (of something or incident)
  • to be totally free from harm or punishment, obligation or restraint
  • unpunished
  • let off
  • off the hook
  • free of blame
  • cleared
  • guiltless
  • free to go
  • without punishment

Example Sentences

  1. The person went scot-free even though there were many people convinced of his crime because the evidence against him was circumstantial.
  2. She intends to get married only when her reputation is scot-free.
  3. I went scot-free even though it was me who was the mastermind of the mischief because my mother could never believe that her precious little one could do anything bad.
  4. She does not let her children scot-free when they are misbehaving and has different punishments for them every time.
  5. The accused thought he would go scot-free just because he had hired a big lawyer! But that did not happen for him.
  6. It does not matter if you go scot-free after committing a crime because your conscious will always know what happened and how.
  7. Jacob went scot-free in the trial even though he had admitted of his guilt. That was because the court of law also gives a chance to people so that they can improve.


The phrase ‘scot free’ was originated from a medieval tax named “scot” in 14th century.

Paul Brians, the professor of English and Coordinator of Humanities at Washington State University explained the origin of the phrase in his book named “Common Errors in English Usage” published in 2008.

“Getting away with something “scot free” has nothing to do with the Scots (or Scotch). The scot was a medieval tax; if you evaded paying it you got off scot free. Some people wrongly suppose this phrase allude to Dred Scott, the American slave who unsuccessfully sued for his freedom.
The phrase is “scot free”: no H, one T.

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According to “The Idioms – Largest Idoms Dictionary”, the phrase “Scot free” originated between the years 1200 to 1250 in Middle English. The exact literary origin could not be traced though.

After reading up on the subject, the most likely origin would have been in the years before 1296, the beginning of the First War of Scottish Independence.

Warlike Scottish clans were raiding communities along the northern English border, but English troops were preoccupied in a war with France, so the Scots were getting off Scot free. Finally upon the death of Scotland’s strong King Alexander, III there were 13 claimants to the Scottish throne. Seeing Scotland weakened, the English decided to invade in 1296 to try to conquer Scotland as one of their states. The Scots repelled the English in what became known as the famous 1st Scottish War for Independence.

‒ Bill Still January 20, 2018

The scots gained independence in that time. Pretty obvious.

‒ Anonymous December 7, 2017

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