n. the threat might consist of physical injury to
the threatened person or to someone loved by
that person, or injury to a person's reputation.
In some cases the victim is told that an alleged
illegal act he or she had previously committed
will be exposed if the victim fails to comply with
Although the crime of blackmail is generally synonymous with
extortion, some states distinguish the offenses by requiring that the
former be in writing.
Blackmail is punishable by a fine, imprisonment, or both.
Traced from 1552, mail is Middle English male "rent, tribute," from
Old English (pre-1100) mal "lawsuit, terms, bargaining, agreement,"
from Old North French mal "speech, agreement;" related to Old
English mæðel "meeting, council," mæl "speech", Gothic maþl
"meeting place." Derived from the practice of freebooting clan
chieftains who ran protection rackets against Scottish farmers.
Black is obviously from the evil of the practice. The term was
expanded in 1826 to any type of extortion and used as a verb
Have you personally ever suffered from the narcissistic and psychotic
behavior of being blackmailed? How did you cope? Did you cave or
did you hold out? How did you weather the attack?
info from etymonline and legal-dictionary