- scuttle (n.)
- "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 (cf. 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)
- "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)
- "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.