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.
scuba Look up scuba at Dictionary.com
1952, acronym for self-contained underwater breathing apparatus.
scud (v.) Look up scud at Dictionary.com
"to move quickly," 1530s, of uncertain origin, perhaps a variant of Middle English scut "rabbit, rabbit's tail," in reference to its movements (see scut (n.1)), but there are phonetic difficulties. Perhaps rather from a North Sea Germanic source akin to Middle Low German, Middle Dutch schudden "to shake" (see quash). Related: Scudded; scudding. As a noun from c.1600, from the verb. It also was the NATO reporting name for a type of Soviet missile introduced in the 1960s.
scudo (n.) Look up scudo at Dictionary.com
old Italian silver coin, Italian, literally "shield" (in reference to the device it bore), from Latin scutum (see hide (n.1)).
scuff (v.) Look up scuff at Dictionary.com
1768, "to walk (through or over something) without raising the feet," from Scottish, probably from a Scandinavian source related to Old Norse skufa, skyfa "to shove, push aside," from PIE *skeubh- "to shove" (see shove (v.)). Meaning "injure the surface of" is from 1897. Related: Scuffed; scuffing. As a noun from 1824.
scuffle (v.) Look up scuffle at Dictionary.com
"to push or fight in a disorderly manner," 1570s, probably a frequentative form of scuff, of Scandinavian origin. Related: Scuffled; scuffling. As a noun c.1600, from the verb.
scull (n.) Look up scull at Dictionary.com
kind of short, light, spoon-bladed oar, mid-14c., of unknown origin. The verb is from 1620s, from the noun. Related: Sculled; sculling.
scullery (n.) Look up scullery at Dictionary.com
mid-15c. (early 14c. as a surname), "household department concerned with the care of kitchen utensils," from Old French escuelerie "office of the servant in charge of plates, etc.," from escuelier "keeper of the dishes," from escuele "dish" (12c., Modern French écuelle), from Latin scutella "serving platter, silver" (see scuttle (n.)).
scullion (n.) Look up scullion at Dictionary.com
"low-ranking domestic servant who performs menial kitchen tasks," late 15c., perhaps from Middle French escouillon "a swab, cloth," diminutive of escouve "broom, twig," from Latin scopa (plural scopæ) "broom," related to scapus "shaft, stem" (see scape (n.2)). Or an alteration of Old French souillon "scullion," by influence of scullery.
sculpt (v.) Look up sculpt at Dictionary.com
1826 (implied in sculpted), from French sculpter, from Latin sculpt-, past participle stem of sculpere "to carve" (see sculpture). Related: Sculpting. The older verb form was sculpture (1640s), also sculp (1530s).
sculptor (n.) Look up sculptor at Dictionary.com
1630s, from Latin sculptor "one who cuts or carves," agent noun from sculpt-, past participle stem of sculpere "to carve" (see sculpture). Fem. form sculptress attested from 1660s.
sculpture (n.) Look up sculpture at Dictionary.com
late 14c., from Latin sculptura "sculpture," from past participle stem of sculpere "to carve, engrave," back-formation from compounds such as exculpere, from scalpere "to carve, cut," from PIE root *(s)kel- (1) "to cut, cleave" (see scale (n.1)).
scum (n.) Look up scum at Dictionary.com
early 14c. (implied in scummer "shallow ladle for removing scum"), from Middle Dutch schume "foam, froth," from Proto-Germanic *skuma- (cognates: Old Norse skum, Old High German scum, German Schaum "foam, froth"), perhaps from PIE root *(s)keu- "to cover, conceal" (see hide (n.1)).

Sense deteriorated from "thin layer atop liquid" to "film of dirt," then just "dirt." Meaning "lowest class of humanity" is 1580s; scum of the Earth is from 1712. Adopted in Romanic (Old French escume, Modern French écume, Spanish escuma, Italian schiuma).
scumbag (n.) Look up scumbag at Dictionary.com
"condom," by 1939, slang, from scum + bag (n.). Earlier (by 1817) it was used in sugar refining as the name of a frame covered in coarse cloth used in straining. Meaning "despicable person" is attested by 1971.
scummy (adj.) Look up scummy at Dictionary.com
1570s, from scum + -y (2). Transferred sense of "filthy, disreputable" is recorded from 1932. Related: Scumminess.
scupper (n.) Look up scupper at Dictionary.com
"opening in a ship's side at deck level to let the water flow out," early 15c., perhaps from Old French escopir "to spit out," or related to Dutch schop "shovel," or from Middle English scope "scoop" (see scoop (n.)).
scuppernong (n.) Look up scuppernong at Dictionary.com
cultivated muscadine grape vine, 1811, from name of a river in North Carolina, U.S., recorded 18c. as Cascoponung, Cuscopang, from an unidentified American Indian word.
scurf (n.) Look up scurf at Dictionary.com
late Old English sceorf, from Proto-Germanic *skurf- (cognates: Danish skurv, Middle Dutch scorf, Dutch schurft, Old High German scorf, German Schorf "scurf"), probably related to Old English sceorfan "to gnaw," scearfian "to cut into shreds," from PIE *skerp-, from root *(s)ker- "to cut" (see shear (v.)).
scurfy (adj.) Look up scurfy at Dictionary.com
late 15c., from scurf + -y (2). Compare scurvy. Related: Scurfiness.
scurrility (n.) Look up scurrility at Dictionary.com
c.1500, from Latin scurrilitas "buffoonery," from scurrilis (see scurrilous).
scurrilous (adj.) Look up scurrilous at Dictionary.com
"using such language as only the licence of a buffoon can warrant" [Johnson], 1570s, from scurrile "coarsely joking" (c.1500, implied in scurrility), from Latin scurrilis "buffoonlike," from scurra "fashionable city idler, man-about-town," later "buffoon." According to Klein, "an Etruscan loan-word." Related: Scurrilously; scurrilousness.
scurry (v.) Look up scurry at Dictionary.com
1810, perhaps from hurry-scurry (1732), a reduplication of hurry (v.). As a noun, 1823, from the verb.
scurvy (n.) Look up scurvy at Dictionary.com
1560s, noun use of adjective scurvy "covered with scabs, diseased, scorbutic" (early 15c.), variant of scurfy. It took on the narrower meaning of Dutch scheurbuik, French scorbut "scurvy," in reference to the disease characterized by swollen and bleeding gums, prostration, etc., perhaps from Old Norse skyrbjugr, which is perhaps literally "a swelling (bjugr) from drinking sour milk (skyr) on long sea voyages;" but OED has alternative etymology of Middle Dutch or Middle Low German origin, as "disease that lacerates the belly," from schoren "to lacerate" + Middle Low German buk, Dutch buik "belly."
scuse (v.) Look up scuse at Dictionary.com
shortened form of excuse (v.), attested from late 15c.
scut (n.2) Look up scut at Dictionary.com
term of contempt for a person, 1873, of unknown origin.
scut (n.1) Look up scut at Dictionary.com
"short, erect tail" (of a rabbit, hare, deer, etc.), 1520s; earlier "a hare" (mid-15c.), perhaps from Old Norse skjota "to shoot (with a weapon), launch, push, shove quickly" (compare Norwegian skudda "to shove, push"), from PIE *skeud- "to shoot, chase, throw" (see shoot (v.)).
scutcheon (n.) Look up scutcheon at Dictionary.com
mid-14c., short for escutcheon.
scuttle (n.) Look up scuttle at Dictionary.com
"bucket," late Old English scutel "dish, platter," from Latin scutella "serving platter" (source also of French écuelle, Spanish escudilla, Italian scudella "a plate, bowl"), diminutive of scutra "flat tray, dish," perhaps related to scutum "shield" (see hide (n.1)).

A common Germanic borrowing from Latin (Old Norse skutill, Middle Dutch schotel, Old High German scuzzila, German Schüssel "a dish"). Meaning "basket for sifting grain" is attested from mid-14c.; sense of "bucket for holding coal" first recorded 1849.
scuttle (v.1) Look up scuttle at Dictionary.com
"scamper, scurry," mid-15c., probably related to scud (v.). Related: Scuttled; scuttling.
I should have been a pair of ragged claws
Scuttling across the floors of silent seas.
[T.S. Eliot, "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock"]
scuttle (v.2) Look up scuttle at Dictionary.com
"cut a hole in a ship to sink it," 1640s, from skottell (n.) "opening in a ship's deck" (late 15c.), from Middle French escoutille (Modern French écoutille) or directly from Spanish escotilla "hatchway," diminutive of escota "opening in a garment," from escotar "cut out," perhaps from e- "out" (see ex-) + Germanic *skaut-. Figurative use is recorded from 1888. Related: Scuttled; scuttling.
scuttlebutt (n.) Look up scuttlebutt at Dictionary.com
1805, "cask of drinking water kept on a ship's deck, having a hole (scuttle) cut in it for a cup or dipper," from scuttle "opening in a ship's deck" (see scuttle (v.2)) + butt (n.2) "barrel." Earlier scuttle cask (1777). Meaning "rumor, gossip" first recorded 1901, originally nautical slang, traditionally said to be from the sailors' custom of gathering around the scuttlebutt to gossip. Compare water-cooler, figurative for "workplace gossip" mid-20c.
scuzzy (adj.) Look up scuzzy at Dictionary.com
1968, North American colloquial, perhaps a blend of scummy and fuzzy [Barnhart]. First attested use is in reference to Ratso Rizzo in "Midnight Cowboy."
Scylla (n.) Look up Scylla at Dictionary.com
sea-monster in the Strait of Messina, from Latinized form of Greek Skylla, of unknown origin, perhaps related to skyllein "to tear."
scythe (n.) Look up scythe at Dictionary.com
Old English siðe, sigði, from Proto-Germanic *segithoz (cognates: Middle Low German segede, Middle Dutch sichte, Old High German segensa, German Sense), from PIE root *sek- "to cut" (see section (n.)). The sc- spelling crept in early 15c., from influence of Latin scissor "carver, cutter" and scindere "to cut." Compare French scier "saw," a false spelling from sier.