Scandinavian (adj.) Look up Scandinavian at Dictionary.com
1784; see Scandinavia + -ian. From 1830 as a noun; 1959 in reference to furniture and decor. In U.S. colloquial use sometimes Scandahoovian (1929), Scandiwegian. Alternative adjective Scandian (1660s) is from Latin Scandia.
scandium (n.) Look up scandium at Dictionary.com
1879, from Modern Latin Scandia (see Scandinavia) + chemical ending -ium.
scanner (n.) Look up scanner at Dictionary.com
1550s, "person who examines critically," agent noun from scan (v.). From 1927 as a type of mechanical device, in mid-20c. use especially of radar and medical devices; later of computer accessories.
scansion (n.) Look up scansion at Dictionary.com
1670s, "action of marking off of verse in metric feet," from Late Latin scansionem (nominative scansio), in classical Latin, "act of climbing," noun of action from past participle stem of scandere "to climb" (see scan (v.)). From 1650s in English in literal sense of "action of climbing up."
scant (adj.) Look up scant at Dictionary.com
mid-14c., from a Scandinavian source such as Old Norse skamt, neuter of skammr "short, brief," from Proto-Germanic *skamma- (cognates: Old English scamm "short," Old High German skemmen "to shorten"), perhaps ultimately "hornless," from PIE *kem- (see hind (n.)). Also in Middle English as a noun, "scant supply, scarcity," from Old Norse. As a verb and adverb from mid-15c.
scantily (adv.) Look up scantily at Dictionary.com
1774; see scanty + -ly (2).
scantling (adj.) Look up scantling at Dictionary.com
1520s, "measured or prescribed size," altered from scantlon, scantiloun "dimension" (c.1400), earlier a type of mason's tool for measuring thickness (c.1300), a shortening of Old French escantillon (Modern French échantillon "sample pattern"), of uncertain origin; perhaps ultimately from Latin scandere "to climb" (see scan (v.)). Sense influenced by scant. Meaning "small wooden beam" is 1660s. Related: Scantlings.
scantly (adv.) Look up scantly at Dictionary.com
late 14c., from scant + -ly (2). OED reports it "exceedingly common from the 15th to the middle of the 17th c.; in the 18th c. it had app. become obsolere; revived in literary use by Scott."
scantness (n.) Look up scantness at Dictionary.com
late 14c., from scant (adj.) + -ness. Chaucer uses scantity.
scanty (adj.) Look up scanty at Dictionary.com
1650s, "meager, barely sufficient for use;" 1701, "too small, limited in scope," from scant + -y (2). Related: Scantiness (1560s). Scanties (n.) "underwear" (especially for women) attested from 1928.
scape (n.) Look up scape at Dictionary.com
"scenery view," 1773, abstracted from landscape (n.); as a comb. element, first attested use is 1796, in prisonscape.
scape (v.) Look up scape at Dictionary.com
late 13c., shortened form of escape; frequent in prose till late 17c. Related: Scaped (sometimes 15c.-16c. with strong past tense scope); scaping. As a noun from c.1300.
scapegoat (n.) Look up scapegoat at Dictionary.com
1530, "goat sent into the wilderness on the Day of Atonement, symbolic bearer of the sins of the people," coined by Tyndale from scape (n.) + goat to translate Latin caper emissarius, itself a translation in Vulgate of Hebrew 'azazel (Lev. xvi:8,10,26), which was read as 'ez ozel "goat that departs," but which others hold to be the proper name of a devil or demon in Jewish mythology (sometimes identified with Canaanite deity Aziz).

Jerome's reading also was followed by Martin Luther (der ledige Bock), Symmachus (tragos aperkhomenos), and others (compare French bouc émissaire), but the question of who, or what (or even where) is meant by 'azazel is a vexed one. The Revised Version (1884) simply restores Azazel. But the old translation has its modern defenders:
Azazel is an active participle or participial noun, derived ultimately from azal (connected with the Arabic word azala, and meaning removed), but immediately from the reduplicate form of that verb, azazal. The reduplication of the consonants of the root in Hebrew and Arabic gives the force of repetition, so that while azal means removed, azalzal means removed by a repetition of acts. Azalzel or azazel, therefore, means one who removes by a series of acts. ... The interpretation is founded on sound etymological grounds, it suits the context wherever the word occurs, it is consistent with the remaining ceremonial of the Day of Atonement, and it accords with the otherwise known religious beliefs and symbolical practices of the Israelites. [Rev. F. Meyrick, "Leviticus," London, 1882]
Meaning "one who is blamed or punished for the mistakes or sins of others" first recorded 1824; the verb is attested from 1943. Related: Scapegoated; scapegoating. For the formation, compare scapegrace, also scape-gallows "one who deserves hanging."
scapegrace (n.) Look up scapegrace at Dictionary.com
1767, from scape (v.) + grace (n.); as if "one who escapes the grace of God." Possibly influenced by scapegoat.
scaphoid (adj.) Look up scaphoid at Dictionary.com
1741, from Modern Latin scaphoides "boat-shaped," from Greek skaphoeides, with -oeides (see -oid) + skaphe "light boat, skiff;" also "basin, trough, a bowl;" literally "thing dug or cut out," from PIE *skabh-, from root *(s)kep- "to cut" (see scabies). Related: Scaphoidal (1680s).
scapula (n.) Look up scapula at Dictionary.com
"shoulder blade," 1570s, Modern Latin, from Late Latin scapula "shoulder," from Latin scapulae (plural) "shoulders, shoulder blades," perhaps originally "spades, shovels," on notion of similar shape, but animal shoulder blades might have been used as scraping tools in primitive times, from PIE *skap-, variant of *skep- "to cut, scrape" (see scabies).
scapular (adj.) Look up scapular at Dictionary.com
1680s, "pertaining to the scapula," from Modern Latin scapularis, from Latin scapula "shoulder" (see scapula). The noun (late 15c., also in Old English) in reference to a short cloak for the shoulders prescribed for certain monks, is from Medieval Latin scapulare, from scapula. Related: Scapulary.
scapulimancy (n.) Look up scapulimancy at Dictionary.com
divination by means of the cracks in a shoulder-blade put into a fire, 1871, from comb. form of scapula + -mancy.
scar (n.) Look up scar at Dictionary.com
late 14c., from Old French escare "scab" (Modern French escarre), from Late Latin eschara, from Greek eskhara "scab formed after a burn," literally "hearth, fireplace," of unknown origin. English sense probably influenced by Middle English skar (late 14c.) "crack, cut, incision," from Old Norse skarð, related to score (n.). Figurative sense attested from 1580s.
scar (v.) Look up scar at Dictionary.com
1550s, from scar (n.1). Figurative use from 1590s. Related: Scarred; scarring.
scar (n.2) Look up scar at Dictionary.com
"bare and broken rocky face of a cliff or mountain," 1670s, earlier "rock, crag" (14c.), perhaps from Old Norse sker "isolated rock or low reef in the sea," from Proto-Germanic *sker- "to cut" (see shear (v.)).
scarab (n.) Look up scarab at Dictionary.com
"black dung beetle," held sacred by the ancient Egyptians, 1570s, from Middle French scarabeé, from Latin scarabaeus, name of a type of beetle, from Greek karabos "beetle, crayfish," a foreign word, according to Klein probably Macedonian (the suffix -bos is non-Greek). Related: Scarabaean. In ancient use, also a gem cut in a shape like a scarab beetle and with an inscription on the underside.
scaramouche (n.) Look up scaramouche at Dictionary.com
1660s, name of a cowardly braggart (supposed by some to represent a Spanish don) in traditional Italian comedy, from Italian Scaramuccia, literally "skirmish," from schermire "to fence," from a Germanic source (such as Old High German skirmen "defend"); see skirmish (n.). According to OED, a vogue word in late 17c. London due to the popularity of Italian actor Tiberio Fiurelli (1608-1694) in the part.
Scarborough Look up Scarborough at Dictionary.com
place in Yorkshire, earlier Scarðabork, etc., apparently a viking name, from Old Norse and meaning "fortified place of a man called Skarthi," identified in old chronicles as Thorgils Skarthi, literally "Thorgils Harelip," from Old Norse skartð "notch, hack (in the edge of a thing); mountain pass." It has been noted that a literal reading of the name as "gap-hill" suits the location. Scarborough warning "short notice or none" is from 1540s.
scarce (adj.) Look up scarce at Dictionary.com
c.1300, "restricted in quantity," from Old North French scars "scanty, scarce" (Old French eschars, Modern French échars) from Vulgar Latin *scarsus, from *escarpsus, from *excarpere "pluck out," from classical Latin excerpere "pluck out" (see excerpt). As an adverb early 14c. from the adjective. Phrase to make oneself scarce "go away" first attested 1771, noted as a current "cant phrase." Related: Scarcely.
scarcity (n.) Look up scarcity at Dictionary.com
c.1300, from Old North French escarcete (Old French escharsete), from eschars (see scarce).
scare (v.) Look up scare at Dictionary.com
1590s, alteration of Middle English skerren (c.1200), from Old Norse skirra "to frighten; to shrink from, shun; to prevent, avert," related to skjarr "timid, shy, afraid of," of unknown origin. In Scottish also skair, skar, and in dialectal English skeer, skear, which seems to preserve the older pronunciation. To scare up "procure, obtain" is first recorded 1846, American English, from notion of rousing game from cover. Related: Scared; scaring.
scare (n.) Look up scare at Dictionary.com
"something that frightens; sudden panic, sudden terror inspired by a trifling cause, false alarm," 1520s, alteration of Middle English sker "fear, dread" (c.1400), from scare (v.). Scare tactic attested from 1948.
scarecrow (n.) Look up scarecrow at Dictionary.com
1550s, from scare (v.) + crow (n.). Earliest reference is to a person employed to scare birds. Meaning "device of straw and cloth in grotesque resemblance of a man, set up in a grain field or garden to frighten crows," is implied by 1580s; hence "gaunt, ridiculous person" (1590s). The older name for such a thing was shewel. Shoy-hoy apparently is another old word for a straw-stuffed scarecrow (Cobbett began using it as a political insult in 1819 and others picked it up; OED defines it as "one who scares away birds from a sown field," and says it is imitative of their cry).
scared (adj.) Look up scared at Dictionary.com
past participle adjective from scare (v.). Scared stiff first recorded 1900; scared shitless is from 1936. Scaredy-cat "timid person" first attested 1906.
scaremonger (n.) Look up scaremonger at Dictionary.com
also scare-monger, 1888, from scare (n.) + monger (n.).
scarf (v.) Look up scarf at Dictionary.com
"eat hastily," 1960, U.S. teen slang, originally a noun meaning "food, meal" (1932), perhaps imitative, or from scoff (attested in a similar sense from 1846). Or perhaps from a dialectal survival of Old English sceorfan "to gnaw, bite" (see scarf (n.2)); a similar word is found in a South African context in the 1600s. Related: Scarfed; scarfing.
scarf (n.1) Look up scarf at Dictionary.com
"band of silk, strip of cloth," 1550s, "a band worn across the body or over the shoulders," probably from Old North French escarpe "sash, sling," which probably is identical with Old French escherpe "pilgrim's purse suspended from the neck," perhaps from Frankish *skirpja or some other Germanic source (compare Old Norse skreppa "small bag, wallet, satchel"), or from Medieval Latin scirpa "little bag woven of rushes," from Latin scirpus "rush, bulrush," of unknown origin [Klein]. As a cold-weather covering for the neck, first recorded 1844. Plural scarfs began to yield to scarves early 18c., on model of half/halves, etc.
scarf (n.2) Look up scarf at Dictionary.com
"connecting joint," late 13c., probably from a Scandinavian source (such as Old Norse skarfr "nail for fastening a joint," Swedish skarf, Norwegian skarv). A general North Sea Germanic ship-building word (compare Dutch scherf), the exact relationship of all these is unclear. Also borrowed into Romanic (French écart, Spanish escarba); perhaps ultimately from Proto-Germanic *skarfaz (cognates: Old English sceorfan "to gnaw, bite"), from PIE *(s)ker- (1) "to cut" (see shear (v.)). Also used as a verb.
scarification (n.) Look up scarification at Dictionary.com
c.1400, "act of covering with scratches or slight cuts," from Old French scarification (14c.), from Late Latin scarificationem (nominative scarificatio), noun of action from past participle stem of scarificare, from Latin scarifare "scratch open," from Greek skariphasthai "to scratch an outline, sketch," from skariphos "pencil, stylus," from PIE root *skribh- "to cut, separate, sift" (see script (n.)).
scarify (v.) Look up scarify at Dictionary.com
mid-15c., "make incisions in the bark of a tree," from Middle French scarifier "score, scrape" (leather or hide), 14c., from Late Latin scarificare (see scarification). The sense "cover with scars" (1680s) is a sense-shift from influence of scar (v.). Related: Scarified; scarifier; scarifying.
scarily (adv.) Look up scarily at Dictionary.com
1845, "timidly;" 1967, "unnervingly," in a positive sense; see scary + -ly (2).
scarlatina (n.) Look up scarlatina at Dictionary.com
1803, from Modern Latin scarlatina (Sydenham, 1676), from Italian scarlattina (Lancelotti, 1527), fem. of scarlattino (adj.), diminutive of scarlatto "scarlet" (see scarlet). It is a synonym for scarlet fever, not a milder form of it. Related: Scarlattinal.
scarlet (n.) Look up scarlet at Dictionary.com
mid-13c., "rich cloth" (often, but not necessarily, bright red), from a shortened form of Old French escarlate "scarlet (color), top-quality fabric" (12c., Modern French écarlate), from Medieval Latin scarlatum "scarlet, cloth of scarlet" (also source of Italian scarlatto, Spanish escarlate), probably via a Middle Eastern source (compare Arabic siqillat "fine cloth"), from Medieval Greek and ultimately from Late Latin sigillatus "clothes and cloth decorated with small symbols or figures," literally "sealed," past participle of sigillare, from the root of sign (n.).

In English as the name of a color, attested from late 14c. As an adjective from c.1300. Scarlet lady, etc. (Isa. i:18, Rev. xvii:1-5) is from notion of "red with shame or indignation." Scarlet fever is from 1670s, so called for its characteristic rash. Scarlet oak, a New World tree, attested from 1590s. Scarlet letter traces to Hawthorne's story (1850). German Scharlach, Dutch scharlaken show influence of words cognate with English lake (n.2).
scarp (n.) Look up scarp at Dictionary.com
"steep slope," 1580s, from Italian scarpa "slope," probably from a Germanic source, perhaps Gothic skarpo "pointed object," from Proto-Germanic *skarpa- "cutting, sharp" (cognates: Middle High German schroffe "sharp rock, crag," Old English scræf "cave, grave"), from PIE *(s)ker- (1) "to cut" (see shear (v.)).
scarred (adj.) Look up scarred at Dictionary.com
mid-15c., past participle adjective from scar (v.). Transferred use by c.1600.
scary (adj.) Look up scary at Dictionary.com
also scarey, "terrifying," 1580s, from scare (n.) + -y (2). Meaning "easily frightened, subject to scares" is from 1800. Related: Scarier; scariest.
scat (interj.) Look up scat at Dictionary.com
"go away!" 1838, from expression quicker than s'cat "in a great hurry," probably representing a hiss followed by the word cat.
scat (n.1) Look up scat at Dictionary.com
"nonsense patter sung to jazz," 1926, probably of imitative origin, from one of the syllables used. As a verb, 1935, from the noun. Related: Scatting.
scat (n.2) Look up scat at Dictionary.com
"filth, dung," 1950, from Greek stem skat- "dung" (see scatology).
scathe (v.) Look up scathe at Dictionary.com
c.1200, from Old Norse skaða "to hurt, harm, damage, injure," from Proto-Germanic *skath- (cognates: Old English sceaþian "to hurt, injure," Old Saxon skathon, Old Frisian skethia, Middle Dutch scaden, Dutch schaden, Old High German scadon, German schaden, Gothic scaþjan "to injure, damage"), from PIE root *sket- "to injure." Only cognate outside Germanic seems to be in Greek a-skethes "unharmed, unscathed."

It survives mostly in its negative form, unscathed, and in figurative meaning "sear with invective or satire" (1852, usually as scathing) which developed from the sense of "scar, scorch" used by Milton in "Paradise Lost" i.613 (1667).
scathing (adj.) Look up scathing at Dictionary.com
1794 in literal sense, present participle adjective from scathe (v.). Of words, speech, etc., from 1852. Related: Scathingly.
scatology (n.) Look up scatology at Dictionary.com
"obscene literature," 1876, with -logy "treatise, study" + Greek skat-, stem of skor (genitive skatos) "excrement," from PIE *sker- "excrement, dung" (cognates: Latin stercus "dung"), literally "to cut off;" see shear (v.), and compare shit (v.). Related: Scatological (1886).
scatter (v.) Look up scatter at Dictionary.com
mid-12c. (transitive), possibly a northern English variant of Middle English schateren (see shatter), reflecting Norse influence. Intransitive sense from early 15c. Related: Scattered; scattering. As a noun from 1640s.
scatterbrain (n.) Look up scatterbrain at Dictionary.com
also scatter-brain, "thoughtless, giddy person, one incapable of serious, connected thought," 1764 (scatter-brained), from scatter (v.) + brain (n.). Related: Scatterbrained. Compare scatter-good "spendthrift."