A list, literal or not, of those who are blackballed. Its most prominent use was in the US Red Scare of the post-WWII years - many performers and behind-the-scenes people were made industry unpersons overnight (see Martin Ritt's The Front, a fictionalized account of those days, in which Woody Allen - an alumnus of that era himself - plays a "front" for blacklisted writers). It's not limited to Hollywood, of course - any group can have a blacklist.

Black List, a list of bankrupts or other parties whose names are officially known as failing to meet pecuniary engagements. The term is also applied to a list of employees who have been discharged by a firm or corporation and against whom some objection is made and reported to other firms or corporations to prevent them obtaining employment.


Entry from Everybody's Cyclopedia, 1912.

Black"list` (?), v. t.

To put in a black list as deserving of suspicion, censure, or punishment; esp. to put in a list of persons stigmatized as insolvent or untrustworthy, -- as tradesmen and employers do for mutual protection; as, to blacklist a workman who has been discharged. See Black list, under Black, a.

If you blacklist us, we will boycott you. John Swinton.

 

© Webster 1913.

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