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."
scattering (n.) Look up scattering at Dictionary.com
mid-14c., "that which has been strewn about;" late 14c., "act of dispersing," verbal noun from scatter (v.).
scattershot (adj.) Look up scattershot at Dictionary.com
1959, figurative use of term for a kind of gun charge meant to broadcast the pellets when fired (1940), from scatter (v.) + shot (n.).
scavenge (v.) Look up scavenge at Dictionary.com
1640s, back-formation from scavenger. Related: Scavenged; scavenging.
scavenger (n.) Look up scavenger at Dictionary.com
1540s, originally "person hired to remove refuse from streets," from Middle English scawageour (late 14c.), London official in charge of collecting tax on goods sold by foreign merchants, from Anglo-French scawager, from scawage "toll or duty on goods offered for sale in one's precinct" (c.1400), from Old North French escauwage "inspection," from a Germanic source (compare Old High German scouwon, Old English sceawian "to look at, inspect;" see show (v.)).

It has come to be regarded as an agent noun in -er, but the verb is a late back-formation from the noun. With intrusive -n- (c.1500) as in harbinger, passenger, messenger. Extended to animals 1590s. Scavenger hunt is attested from 1937.
scenario (n.) Look up scenario at Dictionary.com
1868, "sketch of the plot of a play," from Italian scenario, from Late Latin scenarius "of stage scenes," from Latin scena "scene" (see scene). Meaning "imagined situation" is first recorded 1960, in reference to hypothetical nuclear wars.
scenary (n.) Look up scenary at Dictionary.com
1690s, obsolete nativized form of Italian scenario (see scenario).
scene (n.) Look up scene at Dictionary.com
1530s, "subdivision of an act of a play," also "stage-setting," from Middle French scène (14c.), from Latin scaena, scena "scene, stage of a theater," from Greek skene "wooden stage for actors," also "that which is represented on stage," originally "tent or booth," related to skia "shadow, shade," via notion of "something that gives shade," from PIE root *skai- "to shine, flicker, glimmer" (see shine (v.)).

Meaning "material apparatus of a theatrical stage" is from 1540s. Meaning "place in which the action of a literary work occurs" is attested from 1590s; general (non-literary) sense of "place where anything is done or takes place" is recorded from 1590s. Hence U.S. slang sense of "setting or milieu for a specific group or activity," attested from 1951 in Beat jargon. Meaning "stormy encounter between two or more persons" is attested from 1761. Behind the scenes "having knowledge of affairs not apparent to the public" (1660s) is an image from the theater, "amid actors and stage machinery" (out of sight of the audience). Scene of the crime (1923) first attested in Agatha Christie.
scenery (n.) Look up scenery at Dictionary.com
"decoration of a theater stage," 1770, earlier scenary; see scene + -ery. Meaning "a landscape or view, a pictorial scene" is from 1777.
scenic (adj.) Look up scenic at Dictionary.com
1620s, "of or belonging to the stage or drama, theatrical," from French scénique (14c.) and directly from Latin scaenicus "dramatic, theatrical," from Greek skenikos, from skene (see scene). Meaning "of or belonging to natural scenery" is recorded from 1842. Of roads, etc., "offering fine views," recorded since 1885. Scenic railway is recorded from 1886. Related: Scenically.
scent (v.) Look up scent at Dictionary.com
late 14c., sent "to find the scent of," from Old French sentir "to feel, smell, touch, taste; realize, perceive; make love to," from Latin sentire " to feel, perceive, sense, discern, hear, see" (see sense (n.)).

Originally a hunting term. The -c- appeared 17c., perhaps by influence of ascent, descent, etc., or by influence of science. This was a tendency in early Modern English, also in scythe and for a time threatening to make scite and scituate. Figurative use from 1550s. Transitive sense "impregnate with an odor, perfume" is from 1690s. Related: Scented; scenting.
scent (n.) Look up scent at Dictionary.com
late 14c., "scent, smell, what can be smelled" (as a means of pursuit by a hound), from scent (v.). Almost always applied to agreeable odors.
scented (adj.) Look up scented at Dictionary.com
1570s, "endowed with the power of smell;" 1740, "perfumed," past participle adjective from scent (v.).
scepter (n.) Look up scepter at Dictionary.com
c.1300, ceptre, from Old French sceptre (12c.), from Latin sceptrum "royal staff," from Greek skeptron "staff to lean on; royal scepter;" in transferred use, "royalty," from root of skeptein "to prop or stay, lean on." Apparently a cognate with Old English sceaft (see shaft (n.1)). The verb meaning "to furnish with a scepter" is from 1520s. Related: sceptred.
sceptic (n.) Look up sceptic at Dictionary.com
chiefly British English spelling of skeptic (q.v.). Related: Sceptical; sceptically; scepticism.
sceptre Look up sceptre at Dictionary.com
chiefly British English spelling of scepter (q.v.); for spelling, see -re. Related: Sceptred.
sch- Look up sch- at Dictionary.com
this letter group can represent five distinct sounds in English; it first was used by Middle English writers to render Old English sc-, a sound now generally pronounced (and spelled) "-sh-." Sometimes it was miswritten for -ch-. It also was taken in from German (schnapps) and Yiddish (schlemiel). In words derived from classical languages, it represents Latin sch-, Greek skh-, but in some of these words the spelling is a restoration and the pronunciation does not follow it (as in schism).
schadenfreude (n.) Look up schadenfreude at Dictionary.com
"malicious joy in the misfortunes of others," 1922, German Schadenfreude, literally "damage-joy," from schaden "damage, harm, injury" (see scathe) + freude, from Old High German frewida "joy," from fro "happy," literally "hopping for joy," from Proto-Germanic *frawa- (see frolic).
What a fearful thing is it that any language should have a word expressive of the pleasure which men feel at the calamities of others; for the existence of the word bears testimony to the existence of the thing. And yet in more than one such a word is found. ... In the Greek epikhairekakia, in the German, 'Schadenfreude.' [Richard C. Trench, "On the Study of Words," 1852]
schatzi (n.) Look up schatzi at Dictionary.com
"German girlfriend," from German Schatzi, diminutive of Schatz, a term of endearment for a woman, literally "treasure," from Proto-Germanic *skatta- (cognates: Dutch schat "treasure," Gothic skatts "piece of money, money"), originally "cattle."
schedule (n.) Look up schedule at Dictionary.com
late 14c., sedule, cedule "ticket, label, slip of paper with writing on it," from Old French cedule (Modern French cédule), from Late Latin schedula "strip of paper" (in Medieval Latin also "a note, schedule"), diminutive of Latin scheda, scida "one of the strips forming a papyrus sheet," from Greek skhida "splinter," from stem of skhizein "to cleave, split" (see shed (v.)). Also from the Latin word are Spanish cédula, German Zettel.

The notion is of slips of paper attached to a document as an appendix (a sense maintained in U.S. tax forms). The specific meaning "printed timetable" is first recorded 1863 in railway use. Modern spelling is a 15c. imitation of Latin, but pronunciation remained "sed-yul" for centuries afterward; the modern British pronunciation ("shed-yul") is from French influence, while the U.S. pronunciation ("sked-yul") is from the practice of Webster, based on the Greek original.
schedule (v.) Look up schedule at Dictionary.com
"make a schedule of, 1855; include in a schedule, 1862; from schedule (n.). Related: Scheduled; scheduling.
Scheherezade Look up Scheherezade at Dictionary.com
also Scheherazade, female narrator of the "Arabian Nights;" the name used by 1807 in reference to "(young, attractive, female) teller of long tales."
schema (n.) Look up schema at Dictionary.com
plural schemata, 1796, in Kantian philosophy ("a product of the imagination intermediary between an image and a concept"), from Greek skhema (see scheme (n.)). Meaning "diagrammatic representation" is from 1890; general sense of "hypothetical outline" is by 1939.
schematic (adj.) Look up schematic at Dictionary.com
"pertaining to schemes," 1701, from Latin stem of scheme (n.) + -ic. Noun meaning "diagram" is first attested 1929. Related: Schematical (1670s).
scheme (n.) Look up scheme at Dictionary.com
1550s, "figure of speech," from Medieval Latin schema "shape, figure, form, appearance; figure of speech; posture in dancing," from Greek skhema (genitive skhematos) "figure, appearance, the nature of a thing," related to skhein "to get," and ekhein "to have," from PIE root *segh- "to hold, to hold in one's power, to have" (cognates: Sanskrit sahate "he masters, overcomes," sahah "power, victory;" Avestan hazah "power, victory;" Greek ekhein "to have, hold;" Gothic sigis, Old High German sigu, Old Norse sigr, Old English sige "victory").

The sense "program of action" first is attested 1640s. Unfavorable overtones (selfish, devious) began to creep in early 18c. Meaning "complex unity of coordinated component elements" is from 1736. Color scheme is attested from 1884.
scheme (v.) Look up scheme at Dictionary.com
"devise a scheme," 1767 (earlier "reduce to a scheme," 1716), from scheme (n.). Related: Schemed; scheming.
schemer (n.) Look up schemer at Dictionary.com
1724, "a contriver, plotter," agent noun from scheme (v.).
Schenectady Look up Schenectady at Dictionary.com
place in New York state, from Mohawk (Iroquoian) skah-nehtati "the other side of the pines," containing -hneht- "pine tree."
scherzo (n.) Look up scherzo at Dictionary.com
1852, from Italian scherzo, literally "sport, joke," from scherzare "to jest or joke," from a Germanic source (compare Middle High German scherzen "to jump merrily, enjoy oneself," German scherz "sport"), from PIE *(s)ker- (2) "leap, jump about." The lively second or third movement in a multi-movement work. Scherzando is the Italian gerund of scherzare.
schism (n.) Look up schism at Dictionary.com
late 14c., scisme, "dissention within the church," from Old French scisme, cisme "a cleft, split" (12c.), from Church Latin schisma, from Greek skhisma (genitive skhismatos) "division, cleft," in New Testament applied metaphorically to divisions in the Church (I Cor. xii.25), from stem of skhizein "to split" (see shed (v.)). Spelling restored 16c., but pronunciation unchanged. Often in reference to the Great Schism (1378-1417) in the Western Church.
schismatic Look up schismatic at Dictionary.com
late 14c. (n.); mid-15c. (adj.), from Old French scismatique (Modern French schismatique), from Church Latin schismaticus, from Greek skhismatikos, from schisma (see schism). Used also as a noun in Old French and Late Latin. Related: Schismatical; schismatically.
schist (n.) Look up schist at Dictionary.com
type of layered metamorphic rock, 1795 (earlier schistus, c.1600), from French schiste (16c.), from Latin schistos lapis "stone that splits easily" (Pliny), from Greek skhistos "divided, separated," from skhizein "to split" (see shed (v.)). The rock splits easily in layers. Liddell & Scott say Greek skhistos lithos was "probably talc."
schistosomiasis (n.) Look up schistosomiasis at Dictionary.com
1906, from schistosome (1905), from Modern Latin Schistosoma, from Greek skhistos "divided, cloven" (see schist) + soma "body" (see somato-).
schizo (n.) Look up schizo at Dictionary.com
1945 (n.), slang shortening of schizophrenic. Schiz in same sense is from 1955 as a noun, 1960 as an adjective.
schizo- Look up schizo- at Dictionary.com
word-forming element meaning "division; split, cleavage," from Latinized form of Greek skhizo-, comb. form of skhizein "to split, cleave, part, separate," from PIE root *skei- "to cut, separate, divide, part, split" (see shed (v.)).
schizoid (adj.) Look up schizoid at Dictionary.com
"resembling schizophrenia," 1925, from German schizoid (1921), from front part of schizophrenia + Greek -oeides "like," from eidos "form, shape" (see -oid).
schizophrenia (n.) Look up schizophrenia at Dictionary.com
1912, from Modern Latin, literally "a splitting of the mind," from German Schizophrenie, coined in 1910 by Swiss psychiatrist Eugen Bleuler (1857-1939), from Greek skhizein "to split" (see schizo-) + phren (genitive phrenos) "diaphragm, heart, mind," of unknown origin.
schizophrenic (adj.) Look up schizophrenic at Dictionary.com
1912; see schizophrenia + -ic. Also from 1912 as a noun, "schizophrenic person." Transferred adjectival sense of "contradictory, inconsistent" is by 1955.
schlemazel (n.) Look up schlemazel at Dictionary.com
also schlimazel, "born loser," 1948, from Yiddish shlim mazel "rotten luck," from Middle High German slim "crooked" + Hebrew mazzal "luck." British slang shemozzle "an unhappy plight" (1889) is probably from the same source.
A shlemiel is the fellow who climbs to the top of a ladder with a bucket of paint and then drops it. A shimazl is the fellow on whose head the bucket falls. [Rep. Stephen J. Solarz (D.-N.Y.), 1986]
schlemiel (n.) Look up schlemiel at Dictionary.com
"awkward, clumsy person," 1868, from Yiddish shlemiel "bungler," from main character in A. von Chamisso's German fable "The Wonderful History of Peter Schlemihl" (1813), probably from Biblical name Shelumiel (Num. i:6), chief of the tribe of Simeon, identified with the Simeonite prince Zimri ben Salu, who was killed while committing adultery. Compare schlemazel.
schlep (v.) Look up schlep at Dictionary.com
"to carry or drag," 1922 (in Joyce's "Ulysses"), from Yiddish shlepen "to drag," from Middle High German sleppen, related to Old High German sleifen "to drag," and slifan "to slide, slip" (cognate with Middle English slippen; see slip (v.)). Related: Schlepped; schlepping.
schlep (n.) Look up schlep at Dictionary.com
"stupid person, loser," 1939, short for schlepper "person of little worth" (1934), in Yiddish, "fool, beggar, scrounger," from schlep (v.) "to carry or drag" (for sense evolution, compare drag (n.) "annoying dull person").
schlock (n.) Look up schlock at Dictionary.com
"trash," 1915, from American Yiddish shlak, from German Schlacke "dregs, scum, dross" (see slag (n.)). Alternative etymology [OED] is from Yiddish shlogn "to strike" (cognate with German schlagen; see slay). Derived form schlockmeister "purveyor of cheap merchandise" is from 1965. Adjectival form schlocky is attested from 1968; schlock was used as an adjective from 1916.
schlong (n.) Look up schlong at Dictionary.com
"penis," 1969, from Yiddish shlang, literally "snake."
schlub (n.) Look up schlub at Dictionary.com
"worthless oaf," 1964, from Yiddish, perhaps from Polish żłób in a sense "blockhead."
schm- Look up schm- at Dictionary.com
substituted for the initial sound of a word and reduplicated with it to convey derision (as in "Oedipus schmoedipus" in the punchline of the old joke about the Jewish mother and the psychiatrist), 1929, from the numerous Yiddish words that begin with this sound.
schmaltz (n.) Look up schmaltz at Dictionary.com
"banal or excessive sentimentalism," 1935, from Yiddish shmalts, literally "melted fat," from Middle High German smalz, from Old High German smalz "animal fat," related to smelzan "to melt" (see smelt (v.)). Modern German Schmalz "fat, grease" has the same figurative meaning. First mentioned in English as "a derogatory term used to describe straight jazz" ["Vanity Fair," Nov. 1935].
schmaltzy (adj.) Look up schmaltzy at Dictionary.com
1935, from schmaltz + -y (2). Related: Schmaltziness.
schmear (n.) Look up schmear at Dictionary.com
1961, "bribery," from Yiddish shmir "spread," from shmirn "to grease, smear," from Middle High German smiren, from Old High German smirwen "to smear" (see smear (v.); compare slang to grease (someone's) palm "to bribe"). Phrase the whole schmear "the entire affair" is attested from 1969, originally show business jargon,
schmendrick (n.) Look up schmendrick at Dictionary.com
"stupid person," 1944, from Yiddish shmendrik, from the name of a character in an 1877 operetta ("Shmendrik, oder Di komishe Chaseneh") by Avrom Goldfaden (1840-1908), "Father of Yiddish Theater."