screw (v.) Look up screw at Dictionary.com
"to twist (something) like a screw," 1590s, from screw (n.). From 1610s as "to attach with a screw." Slang meaning "to copulate" dates from at least 1725, originally usually of the action of the male, on the notion of driving a screw into something. Meaning "defraud, cheat" is from 1900. First recorded 1949 in exclamations as a euphemism. Related: Screwed; screwing. To screw up "blunder" is recorded from 1942. Screwed up originally was figurative for "tuned to a high or precise pitch" (1907), an image from the pegs of stringed instruments. Meaning "confused, muddled" attested from 1943. Expression to have (one's) head screwed on the right (or wrong) way is from 1821.
screwball (n.) Look up screwball at Dictionary.com
"eccentric person," 1933, U.S. slang, earlier as a type of erratic baseball pitch (1928), from a still earlier name for a type of delivery in cricket (1866), from screw (n.) + ball (n.1). Screwball comedy is attested from 1938, in reference to Carole Lombard.
screwdriver (n.) Look up screwdriver at Dictionary.com
also screw-driver, "tool for driving screws," 1779, from screw (n.) + driver. Meaning "cocktail made from vodka and orange juice" is recorded from 1956. (Screwed/screwy have had a sense of "drunk" since 19c.; compare slang tight "drunk").
screwy (adj.) Look up screwy at Dictionary.com
1820, "tipsy, slightly drunk," from screw (n.) + -y (2.). Sense of "crazy, ridiculous" first recorded 1887. Related: Screwily; screwiness.
scribble (v.) Look up scribble at Dictionary.com
mid-15c., from Medieval Latin scribillare, diminutive of Latin scribere "to write" (see script (n.)). Related: Scribbled; scribbling. The noun, "hurried or careless writing," is 1570s, from the verb.
scribbler (n.) Look up scribbler at Dictionary.com
"petty author," 1550s, agent noun from scribble (v.).
scribe (v.) Look up scribe at Dictionary.com
"to write," mid-15c., from Latin scribere "to write" (see script (n.)).
scribe (n.) Look up scribe at Dictionary.com
c. 1200, "professional interpreter of the Jewish Law" (late 11c. as a surname), from Church Latin scriba "teacher of Jewish law," used in Vulgate to render Greek grammateus (corresponding to Hebrew sopher "writer, scholar"), special use of Latin scriba "keeper of accounts, secretary, writer," from past participle stem of scribere "to write;" see script (n.). Sense "one who writes, official or public writer" in English is from late 14c.
scrim (n.) Look up scrim at Dictionary.com
"upholstery lining," 1792, of unknown origin.
scrimmage (n.) Look up scrimmage at Dictionary.com
sometimes also scrummage, late 15c., alteration of skirmish (n.). Meaning in rugby and U.S. football dates from 1857, originally "a confused struggle between players."
scrimmage (v.) Look up scrimmage at Dictionary.com
1825, "quarrel, argue," from scrimmage (n.). Team sports sense is from 1881. Related: Scrimmaged; scrimmaging.
scrimp (v.) Look up scrimp at Dictionary.com
"to make too small," 1774, originally in English an adjective, "scant, meager" (1718), possibly from a Scandinavian source (compare Swedish skrumpna "to shrink, shrivel up," Danish skrumpen "shrunken, shriveled"), or from a continental Germanic source akin to Middle High German schrimpfen, German schrumpfen "to shrivel," from Proto-Germanic *skrimp-, from PIE root *(s)kerb- "to turn, bend." Related: Scrimped; scrimping.
scrimpy (adj.) Look up scrimpy at Dictionary.com
1855, from scrimp (v.) + -y (2). Related: Scrimpily; scrimpiness.
scrimshaw (n.) Look up scrimshaw at Dictionary.com
1864, "A nautical word of unstable orthography" [Century Dictionary], back-formation from scrimshander ("Moby Dick," 1851), scrimshonting (1825), American English, of unknown origin. Scrimshaw is an English surname, attested from mid-12c., from Old French escremisseor "fencing-master."
scrip (n.) Look up scrip at Dictionary.com
"certificate of a right to receive something" (especially a stock share), 1762, probably shortened from (sub)scrip(tion) receipt. Originally "receipt for a portion of a loan subscribed," meaning "certificate issued as currency" first recorded 1790.
script (n.) Look up script at Dictionary.com
late 14c., "something written," earlier scrite (c. 1300), from Old French escrit "piece of writing, written paper; credit note, IOU; deed, bond" (Modern French écrit) from Latin scriptum "a writing, book; law; line, mark," noun use of neuter past participle of scribere "to write," from PIE *skribh- "to cut, separate, sift" (cognates: Greek skariphasthai "to scratch an outline, sketch," Lettish skripat "scratch, write," Old Norse hrifa "scratch"), from root *(s)ker- (1) "to cut" (see shear (v.)) on the notion of carving marks in stone, wood, etc.

Meaning "handwriting" is recorded from 1860. Theatrical use, short for manuscript, is attested from 1884. The importance of Rome to the spread of civilization in Europe is attested by the fact that the word for "write" in Celtic and Germanic (as well as Romanic) languages derives from scribere (French écrire, Irish scriobhaim, Welsh ysgrifennu, German schreiben). The cognate Old English scrifan means "to allot, assign, decree" (see shrive; also compare Old Norse skript "penance") and Modern English uses write (v.) to express this action.
script (v.) Look up script at Dictionary.com
"adapt (a work) for broadcasting or film," 1935, from script (n.). Related: Scripted; scripting.
scriptorium (n.) Look up scriptorium at Dictionary.com
"writing room," 1774, from Late Latin scriptorium "place for writing," noun use of neuter of Latin scriptorius "pertaining to writing," from Latin scriptus, past participle of scribere "to write" (see script (n.)).
scriptural (adj.) Look up scriptural at Dictionary.com
1640s, from Modern Latin scripturalis, from Latin scriptura (see scripture). Related: Scripturally.
scripture (n.) Look up scripture at Dictionary.com
early 14c., "the sacred writings of the Bible;" mid-14c., "a writing, an act of writing, written characters," from Late Latin scriptura "the writings contained in the Bible, a passage from the Bible," in classical Latin "a writing, character, inscription," from scriptus, past participle of scribere "write" (see script (n.)).
scritch Look up scritch at Dictionary.com
see screech.
scrivener (n.) Look up scrivener at Dictionary.com
"professional penman, copyist," late 14c. (early 13c. as a surname), with superfluous -er + scrivein "scribe" (c. 1300), from Old French escrivain "a writer, notary, clerk" (Modern French écrivain), from Vulgar Latin *scribanem accusative of scriba "a scribe," from scribere "to write" (see script (n.)).
scrod (n.) Look up scrod at Dictionary.com
1841, "young cod, split and fried or boiled," possibly from Dutch schrood "piece cut off," from Middle Dutch scrode "shred" (cognate with Old English screade "piece cut off;" see shred (n.)). If this is the origin, the notion is probably of fish cut into pieces for drying or cooking.
A Boston brahmin is on a business trip to Philadelphia. In search of dinner, and hungry for that Boston favorite, broiled scrod, he hops into a cab and asks the driver, "My good man, take me someplace where I can get scrod." The cabbie replies, "Pal, that's the first time I've ever been asked that in the passive pluperfect subjunctive." [an old joke in Philadelphia, this version of it from "Vex, Hex, Smash, Smooch," Constance Hale, 2012]
scrofula (n.) Look up scrofula at Dictionary.com
c. 1400, scrophulas (plural) from Late Latin scrofulæ (plural) "swelling of the glands of the neck," literally "little pigs," from Latin scrofa "breeding sow" (see screw (n.)). The connection may be because the glands associated with the disease resemble the body of a sow or some part of it, or because pigs were thought to be prone to it. Compare Greek khoirades (plural) "scrofula," related to khoiros "young pig."
scrofulous (adj.) Look up scrofulous at Dictionary.com
early 15c., from Medieval Latin scrophulosus; see scrofula + -ous. Related: Scrofulously; scrofulousness.
scroggy (adj.) Look up scroggy at Dictionary.com
"overgrown with bushes," Scottish and northern English, mid-15c., from scrog (n.) "a stunted bush, a shrub-like plant" (c. 1400), probably related to scrag "a lean person or thing" (1570s); compare scraggly.
scroll (n.) Look up scroll at Dictionary.com
c. 1400, "roll of parchment or paper," altered (by association with rolle "roll") from scrowe (c. 1200), from Anglo-French escrowe, Old French escroe "scrap, roll of parchment," from Frankish *skroda "shred" or a similar Germanic source, from Proto-Germanic *skrauth- (cognates: Old English screada "piece cut off, cutting, scrap;" see shred (n.)). As an ornament on furniture or in architecture, from 1610s.
scroll (v.) Look up scroll at Dictionary.com
"to write down in a scroll," c. 1600, from scroll (n.). Sense of "show a few lines at a time" (on a computer or TV screen) first recorded 1981. Related: Scrolled; scrolling.
scrollwork (n.) Look up scrollwork at Dictionary.com
1822, from scroll (n.) + work (n.).
Scrooge (n.) Look up Scrooge at Dictionary.com
generic for "miser," 1940, from curmudgeonly character in Dickens' 1843 story "A Christmas Carol." It does not appear to be a genuine English surname, but it is an 18c. variant of scrounge.
scrotum (n.) Look up scrotum at Dictionary.com
"purse-like tegumentary investment of the testes and part of the spermatic cord; the cod" [Century Dictionary], 1590s, from Latin scrotum, probably transposed from scortum "a skin, hide" (see corium), perhaps by influence of scrautum "leather quiver for arrows."
"Isn't the sea what Algy calls it: a grey sweet mother? The snotgreen sea. The scrotum-tightening sea. Epi oinopa ponton." [Joyce, "Ulysses"]
Related: Scrotal.
scrounge (v.) Look up scrounge at Dictionary.com
"to acquire by irregular means," 1915, alteration of dialectal scrunge "to search stealthily, rummage, pilfer" (1909), of uncertain origin, perhaps from dialectal scringe "to pry about;" or perhaps related to scrouge, scrooge "push, jostle" (1755, also Cockney slang for "a crowd"), probably suggestive of screw, squeeze. Popularized by the military in World War I. Related: Scrounged; scrounging.
scrub (v.) Look up scrub at Dictionary.com
"rub hard," early 15c., earlier shrubben (c. 1300), perhaps from Middle Dutch or Middle Low German schrubben "to scrub," or from an unrecorded Old English cognate, or from a Scandinavian source (such as Danish skrubbe "to scrub"), probably ultimately from the Proto-Germanic root of shrub, used as a cleaning tool (compare the evolution of broom, brush (n.1)).

Meaning "to cancel" is attested from 1828 (popularized during World War II with reference to flights), probably from notion of "to rub out, erase" an entry on a listing. Related: Scrubbed; scrubbing.
scrub (n.1) Look up scrub at Dictionary.com
late 14c., "low, stunted tree," variant of shrobbe (see shrub), perhaps influenced by a Scandinavian word (such as Danish dialectal skrub "a stunted tree, brushwood"). Collective sense "brush, shrubs" is attested from 1805. As an adjective from 1710. Scrub oak recorded from 1766.

Transferred sense of "mean, insignificant fellow" is from 1580s; U.S. sports meaning "athlete not on the varsity team" is recorded from 1892, probably from this, but compare scrub "hard-working servant, drudge" (1709), perhaps from influence of scrub (v.).
scrub (n.2) Look up scrub at Dictionary.com
"act of scrubbing," 1620s, from scrub (v.). Meaning "thing that is used in scrubbing" is from 1680s.
scrubby (adj.) Look up scrubby at Dictionary.com
"stunted, inferior, shabby," 1590s; see scrub (n.) + -y (2). Meaning "covered with scrub" is from 1670s. Related: Scrubbiness.
scruff (n.) Look up scruff at Dictionary.com
"nape of the neck," 1790, altered (by influence of scruff "crust") from scuft (1787), probably related to North Frisian skuft "back of the neck of a horse" and Dutch schoft "withers of a horse," from a common Germanic source (compare Old Norse skopt "hair of the head," Gothic skuft, Middle High German schopf, German Schopf). Another theory holds it to be a variant of scurf.
scruffy (adj.) Look up scruffy at Dictionary.com
1650s, "covered with scurf," from scruff "dandruff, scurf" (late Old English variant of scurf) + -y (2). Generalized sense of "rough and dirty" is from 1871. Related: Scruffily; scruffiness.
scrum (n.) Look up scrum at Dictionary.com
1888, abbreviation of scrummage, a variant form of scrimmage (n.). Transferred sense of "noisy throng" is from 1950.
scrumptious (adj.) Look up scrumptious at Dictionary.com
1833, in countrified humor writing of "Major Jack Downing" of Maine (Seba Smith); probably a colloquial alteration of sumptuous. Originally "stylish, splendid;" sense of "delicious" is by 1881. Related: Scrumptiously; scrumptiousness.
scrunch (v.) Look up scrunch at Dictionary.com
1825, "to bite," intensive form of crunch (v.); ultimately imitative. Meaning "to squeeze" is recorded from 1835 (implied in scrunched). Related: Scrunching.
scruple (v.) Look up scruple at Dictionary.com
"to have or make scruples," 1620s, from scruple (n.). Related: Scrupled; scrupling.
scruple (n.) Look up scruple at Dictionary.com
"moral misgiving, pang of conscience," late 14c., from Old French scrupule (14c.), from Latin scrupulus "uneasiness, anxiety, pricking of conscience," literally "small sharp stone," diminutive of scrupus "sharp stone or pebble," used figuratively by Cicero for a cause of uneasiness or anxiety, probably from the notion of having a pebble in one's shoe. The word in the more literal Latin sense of "small unit of weight or measurement" is attested in English from late 14c.
scrupulous (adj.) Look up scrupulous at Dictionary.com
mid-15c., from Anglo-French scrupulus, Middle French scrupuleux, or directly from Latin scrupulosus, from scrupulus (see scruple). Related: Scrupulously; scrupulousness.
scrutable (adj.) Look up scrutable at Dictionary.com
c. 1600, probably a back-formation from inscrutable.
scrutinise (v.) Look up scrutinise at Dictionary.com
chiefly British English spelling of scrutinize (q.v.); for suffix, see -ize. Related: Scrutinised; scrutinising; scrutinisation.
scrutinization (n.) Look up scrutinization at Dictionary.com
1772, noun of action from scrutinize.
scrutinize (v.) Look up scrutinize at Dictionary.com
1670s, from scrutiny + -ize. Related: Scrutinized; scrutinizing. Earlier verb was scrutine (1590s), from French.
scrutiny (n.) Look up scrutiny at Dictionary.com
early 15c., "a vote to choose someone to decide a question," from Late Latin scrutinium "a search, inquiry" (in Medieval Latin, "a mode of election by ballot"), from Latin scrutari "to examine, investigate, search," from PIE root *skreu- "to cut; cutting tool" (see shred (n.)). Meaning "close examination" first recorded c. 1600. Perhaps the original notion of the Latin word is "to search through trash," via scruta (plural) "trash, rags" ("shreds"); or the original sense might be "to cut into, scratch."
scry (v.) Look up scry at Dictionary.com
"to see images in a crystal, water, etc., which reveal the past or forebode the future," 1520s, a shortening of descry (v.1). Related: Scried; scrying; scryer.