sciolist (n.)
1610s, "smatterer, pretender to knowledge," from Late Latin sciolus "one who knows a little," diminutive of scius "knowing," from scire "to know" (see science) + -ist. Related: Sciolistic.
sciomancy (n.)
"divination by ghostly communication," 1620s, from Modern Latin sciomantia, from scio-, Latinized comb. form of Greek skia "shade, shadow" (see shine (v.)) + Latinized form of Greek manteia (see -mancy).
scion (n.)
c.1300, "a shoot or twig," especially one for grafting, from Old French sion, cion "descendant; shoot, twig; offspring" (12c., Modern French scion, Picard chion), of uncertain origin. OED rejects derivation from Old French scier "to saw." Perhaps a diminutive from Frankish *kid-, from Proto-Germanic *kidon-, from PIE *geie- "to sprout, split, open" (see chink (n.1)). Figurative use is attested from 1580s in English; meaning "an heir, a descendant" is from 1814, from the "family tree" image.
sciophobia (n.)
"fear of shadows," 1977, from scio-, Latinized comb. form of Greek skia "shade, shadow" (see shine (v.)) + -phobia. Related: sciophobe; sciophobic.
scirrhous (n.)
1560s, from Middle French scirrheux (16c., Modern French squirreux), from Modern Latin scirrhosus, from Latin scirros "a hard swelling, tumor," from Greek skirrhos "hard tumor," from skiros (adj.) "hard," of unknown origin.
scission (n.)
"act of cutting or dividing," mid-15c., from French scission (14c.), from Late Latin scissionem (nominative scissio) "a cleaving, dividing," noun of action from past participle stem of Latin scindere "to cut" (see shed (v.)).
scissor (v.)
1610s, "to cut with scissors;" 1961 with reference to leg motions (in the wrestling sense it is attested from 1968); see scissors. Related: Scissored; scissoring.
scissors (n.)
late 14c., sisoures, from Old French cisoires (plural) "shears," from Vulgar Latin *cisoria (plural) "cutting instrument," from *cisus (in compounds such as Latin excisus, past participle of excidere "to cut out"), ultimately from Latin caedere "to cut" (see -cide). Spelling with sc- is 16c., from influence of Medieval Latin scissor "tailor," in classical Latin "carver, cutter," from past participle stem of scindere "to split."

Usually with pair of (attested from c.1400) when indication of just one is required, but a singular form without the -s occasionally was used (cysowre, mid-15c.). In Scotland, shears answers for all sizes, according to OED; but in England generally that word is used only for those too large to be worked by one hand. Sense in wrestling is from 1904. Oh scissors! was a 19c. exclamation of impatience or disgust (1843). In reference to a type of swimming kick, from 1902 (the image itself is from 1880s).
SCLC (n.)
initialism (acronym) of Southern Christian Leadership Conference, founded 1957 by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., Bayard Rustin, and others.
sclera (n.)
1886, medical Latin, from Greek sklera (menix) "the hard (membrane)," fem. of skleros "hard" (see sclerosis).
sclero-
before vowels scler-, word-forming element meaning "hard," from Latinized form of Greek sklero-, comb. form of skleros "hard," related to skellein "to dry up, parch," from PIE *skle-ro-, from root *skele- "to parch, wither."
scleroderma (n.)
1866, from Modern Latin, from Greek skleros "hard" (see sclerosis) + derma "skin" (see derma). Related: Sclerodermatous; sclerodermatic.
sclerosis (n.)
"morbid hardening of the tissue," late 14c., from Medieval Latin sclirosis "a hardness, hard tumor," from Greek sklerosis "hardening," from skleros "hard" (see sclero-). Figurative use by 1954.
sclerotic (adj.)
early 15c., "pertaining to sclerosis," from medical Latin scleroticus, from Greek skleroun (see sclerosis). Figurative meaning "unchanging, rigid" is from 1961.
scoff (v.)
mid-14c., "jest, make light of something;" mid-15c., "make fun of, mock," from the noun meaning "contemptuous ridicule" (c.1300), from a Scandinavian source such as Old Norse skaup, skop "mockery, ridicule," Middle Danish skof "jest, mockery;" perhaps from Proto-Germanic *skub-, *skuf- (cognates: Old English scop "poet," Old High German scoph "fiction, sport, jest, derision"), from PIE *skeubh- "to shove" (see shove (v.)).
scoffer (n.)
late 15c., agent noun from scoff (v.).
scofflaw (n.)
1924, from scoff (v.) + law (n.). The winning entry in a national contest during Prohibition to coin a word to characterize a person who drinks illegally, chosen from more than 25,000 entries; the $200 winning prize was split between two contestants who sent in the word separately: Henry Irving Dale and Miss Kate L. Butler. Other similar attempts did not stick, such as pitilacker (1926), winning entry in a contest by the Pennsylvania Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals to establish a scolding word for one who mistreats animals (submitted by Mrs. M. McIlvaine Bready of Mickleton, N.J.).
scold (n.)
mid-12c., "person of ribald speech," later "person fond of abusive language" (c.1300), especially a shrewish woman [Johnson defines it as "A clamourous, rude, mean, low, foul-mouthed woman"], from Old Norse skald "poet" (see skald). The sense evolution might reflect the fact that Germanic poets (like their Celtic counterparts) were famously feared for their ability to lampoon and mock (as in skaldskapr "poetry," also, in Icelandic law books, "libel in verse").
scold (v.)
late 14c., "be abusive or quarrelsome," from scold (n.). Related: Scolded; scolding.
scolex (n.)
"embryo stage of a tapeworm," 1852, from Modern Latin scolex (plural scoleces), from Greek skolex "worm," related to skolyptesthai "to twist and turn," from PIE *skel- (3) "crooked" (see scoliosis).
scoliosis (n.)
lateral curvature of the spine, 1706, medical Latin, from Greek skoliosis "crookedness," from skolios "bent, curved," from PIE root *skel- (3) "crooked, curved," with derivatives referring to crooked parts of the body (as in Greek skelos "leg, limb"). Related: Scoliotic.
sconce (n.)
late 14c., "candlestick with a screen," a shortening of Old French esconse "lantern, hiding place," from Medieval Latin sconsa, from Latin absconsa, fem. past participle of abscondere "to hide" (see abscond). Meaning "metal bracket-candlestick fastened to a wall" is recorded from mid-15c.
scone (n.)
"thin, flat soft cake," 1510s, Scottish, probably shortened from Dutch schoon brood "fine bread," from Middle Dutch schoonbroot, from schoon, scone "bright, beautiful" (see sheen) + broot (see bread (n.)).
scooch (v.)
by 1987, informal. Related: Scooched; scooching.
scoop (v.)
mid-14c., "to bail out," from scoop (n.) and from Low German scheppen "to draw water," from Proto-Germanic *skuppon (cognates: Old Saxon skeppian, Dutch scheppen, Old High German scaphan, German schöpfen "to scoop, ladle out"), from PIE root *skeubh- (cognates: Old English sceofl "shovel," Old Saxon skufla; see shove (v.)). In the journalistic sense from 1884. Related: Scooped; scooping.
scoop (n.)
early 14c., "utensil for bailing out," from Middle Dutch schope "bucket for bailing water," from West Germanic *skopo (cognates: Middle Low German schope "ladle"), from Proto-Germanic *skop-, from PIE *(s)kep- "to cut, to scrape, to hack" (see scabies). Also from Middle Dutch schoepe "a scoop, shovel" (Dutch schop "a spade," related to German Schüppe "a shovel," also "a spade at cards").

Meaning "action of scooping" is from 1742; that of "amount in a scoop" is from 1832. Sense of "a big haul, as if in a scoop net" is from 1893. The journalistic sense of "news published before a rival" is first recorded 1874, American English, from earlier commercial slang verbal sense of "appropriate so as to exclude competitors" (c.1850).
scooper (n.)
1660s, "one who scoops;" 1837 as a tool for scooping, agent noun from scoop (v.).
scoot (v.)
1758, "run, fly, make off," perhaps originally nautical slang; 1805, "flow or gush out with force" (Scottish), of uncertain origin, possibly from a Scandinavian source such as Old Norse skjota "to shoot," related to shoot (v.). Related: Scooted; scooting. As a noun from 1864.
scooter (n.)
1825, "one who goes quickly," agent noun from scoot (v.). Also in 19c. a type of plow and a syringe. As a child's toy, from 1919 (but the reference indicates earlier use), as short for motor scooter from 1917.
scop (n.)
"poet, minstrel," Old English scop, cognate with Old High German scoph "poetry, sport, jest," Old Norse skop "railing, mockery" (see scoff (v.)).
scopa (n.)
tuft of hairs on a bee's leg, from Latin scopae (plural) "twigs, shoots; a broom, brush," related to scapus "shaft" (compare scullion).
scope (n.1)
"extent," 1530s, "room to act," from Italian scopo "aim, purpose, object, thing aimed at, mark, target," from Latin scopus, from Greek skopos "aim, target, object of attention; watcher, one who watches" from metathesized form of PIE *spek-yo-, from root *spek- "to observe" (cognates: Sanskrit spasati "sees;" Avestan spasyeiti "spies;" Greek skopein "behold, look, consider," skeptesthai "to look at;" Latin specere "to look at;" Old High German spehhon "to spy," German spähen "to spy"). Sense of "distance the mind can reach, extent of view" first recorded c.1600.
scope (n.2)
"instrument for viewing," 1872, abstracted from telescope, microscope, etc., from Greek skopein "to look" (see scope (n.1)). Earlier used as a shortening of horoscope (c.1600).
scope (v.)
"to view," 1807, from the source of scope (n.2). Related: Scoped; scoping.
scopophilia (n.)
"voyeurism," 1924 (in a translation of Freud), from Greek -skopia "observation" (see scope (n.1)) + -philia. In early use often scoptophilia through a mistake by Freud's translators. Modern form by 1937. Related: Scopophiliac.
scoptic (adj.)
1660s, "mocking, scoffing," from Greek skoptikos "given to mockery," from skoptein "to mock, jest."
scorbutic (adj.)
1650s, from Modern Latin scorbuticus "pertaining to scurvy," from scorbutus "scurvy," from French scorbut, apparently of Dutch (scheurbuik) or Low German (Scharbock) origin; see scurvy. Scorbute "scurvy" is attested from 1590s, from French.
scorch (v.)
"to burn superficially or slightly, but so as to change the color or injure the texture," early 14c., perhaps an alteration of scorrcnenn "make dry, parch" (c.1200), of obscure origin, perhaps from Old Norse skorpna "to be shriveled," cognate with Old English scrimman "to shrink, dry up." Or perhaps from Old French escorchier "to strip off the skin," from Vulgar Latin excorticare "to flay," from ex- (see ex-) + Latin cortex (genitive corticis) "cork;" but OED finds this not likely. Scorched earth military strategy is 1937, translation of Chinese jiaotu, used against the Japanese in a bid to stem their advance into China.
scorcher (n.)
"very hot day," 1874, agent noun from scorch (v.). It also means or has meant "stinging attack" (1842), "pretty girl" (1881), "line drive in baseball" (1900).
score (n.)
late Old English scoru "twenty," from Old Norse skor "mark, notch, incision; a rift in rock," also, in Icelandic, "twenty," from Proto-Germanic *skura-, from PIE root *(s)ker- (1) "to cut" (see shear).

The connecting notion probably is counting large numbers (of sheep, etc.) with a notch in a stick for each 20. That way of counting, called vigesimalism, also exists in French: In Old French, "twenty" (vint) or a multiple of it could be used as a base, as in vint et doze ("32"), dous vinz et diz ("50"). Vigesimalism was or is a feature of Welsh, Irish, Gaelic and Breton (as well as non-IE Basque), and it is speculated that the English and the French picked it up from the Celts. Compare tally (n.).

The prehistoric sense of the Germanic word, then, likely was "straight mark like a scratch, line drawn by a sharp instrument," but in English this is attested only from c.1400, along with the sense "mark made (on a chalkboard, etc.) to keep count of a customer's drinks in a tavern." This sense was extended by 1670s to "mark made for purpose of recording a point in a game or match," and thus "aggregate of points made by contestants in certain games and matches" (1742, originally in whist).

From the tavern-keeping sense comes the meaning "amount on an innkeeper's bill" (c.1600) and thus the figurative verbal expression settle scores (1775). Meaning "printed piece of music" first recorded 1701, said to be from the practice of connecting related staves by scores of lines. Especially "music composed for a film" (1927). Meaning "act of obtaining narcotic drugs" is by 1951.

Scoreboard is from 1826; score-keeping- from 1905; newspaper sports section score line is from 1965; baseball score-card is from 1877.
score (v.)
"to cut with incisions or notches," c.1400; "to record by means of notches" (late 14c.); see score (n.). Meanings "to keep record of the scores in a game, etc." and "to make or add a point for one's side in a game, etc." both attested from 1742. The slang sense, in reference to men, "achieve intercourse" first recorded 1960. Meaning "to be scorekeeper, to keep the score in a game or contest" is from 1846. In the musical sense from 1839. Related: Scored; scoring.
scoreless (adj.)
in games, 1880, from score (n.) + -less.
scorn (n.)
c.1200, a shortening of Old French escarn "mockery, derision, contempt," a common Romanic word (Spanish escarnio, Italian scherno) of Germanic origin, from Proto-Germanic *skarnjan "mock, deride" (cognates: Old High German skern "mockery, jest, sport," Middle High German scherzen "to jump with joy").

Probably influenced by Old French escorne "affront, disgrace," which is a back-formation from escorner, literally "to break off (someone's) horns," from Vulgar Latin *excornare (source of Italian scornare "treat with contempt"), from Latin ex- "without" (see ex-) + cornu "horn" (see horn (n.)).
scorn (v.)
c.1200, from Anglo-French, Old North French escarnir (Old French escharnir), from the source of scorn (n.). Cognate with Old High German skernon, Middle Dutch schernen. Related: Scorned; scorning. Forms in Romanic languages influenced by confusion with Old French escorner "deprive of horns," hence "deprive of honor or ornament, disgrace."
scorner (n.)
c.1300, agent noun from scorn (v.).
scornful (adj.)
mid-14c.; see scorn (n.) + -ful. Scorny was 19c. U.S. colloquial. Related: Scornfully; scornfulness.
Scorpio (n.)
zodiacal constellation, late 14c., from Latin scorpio (poetic scorpius) "scorpion," also the zodiac constellation (see scorpion). The meaning "person born under or ruled by the sign of Scorpio" is recorded from 1968.
scorpion (n.)
c.1200, from Old French scorpion (12c.), from Latin scorpionem (nominative scorpio), extended form of scorpius, from Greek skorpios "a scorpion," from PIE root *(s)ker- (1) "to cut" (see shear (v.)). The Spanish alacran "scorpion" is from Arabic al-'aqrab.
Scot (n.)
Old English Scottas (plural) "inhabitants of Ireland, Irishmen," from Late Latin Scotti (c.400), of uncertain origin, perhaps from Celtic (but answering to no known tribal name; Irish Scots appears to be a Latin borrowing). The name followed the Irish tribe which invaded Scotland 6c. C.E. after the Romans withdrew from Britain, and after the time of Alfred the Great the Old English word described only the Irish who had settled in the northwest of Britain.
scot-free (adj.)
Old English scotfreo "exempt from royal tax," from scot "royal tax," from Old Norse skot "contribution," literally "a shooting, shot; thing shot, missile," from PIE *skeud- "to shoot, chase, throw" (see shoot (v.); the Old Norse verb form, skjota, has a secondary sense of "transfer to another; pay") + freo (see free (adj.)). First element related to Old English sceotan "to pay, contribute," Dutch schot, German Schoß "tax, contribution." French écot "share" (Old French escot) is from Germanic.