Etymology
Advertisement
scant (adj.)

mid-14c., "short or insufficient in quantity, rather less than is wanted for the purpose," from a Scandinavian source such as Old Norse skamt, neuter of skammr "short, brief," from Proto-Germanic *skamma- (source also of Old English scamm "short," Old High German skemmen "to shorten"), perhaps ultimately "hornless" (from PIE *kem- (1) "hornless;" see hind (n.)).

Also in Middle English as a noun, "dearth, scant supply, scarcity," from Old Norse.

Related entries & more 
Advertisement
scant (v.)

mid-15c., scanten, "be deficient, fail," also "be sparing," from scant (adj.). From 1560s as "put on scant allowance, limit;" 1580s as "make small or scanty, diminish." The meaning "treat slightingly" is by c. 1600. As an adverb, "scarcely, hardly," by mid-15c.

Related entries & more 
scantness (n.)

"scant condition or state, dearth, bare sufficiency," late 14c., from scant (adj.) + -ness. Chaucer uses scantity.

Related entries & more 
scamp (v.)

"do in a hasty manner, perform in a slipshod or perfunctory way," 1837, probably from a dialect word, perhaps from a Scandinavian source (OED compares Old Norse skemma "to shorten, make shorter," from skammr "short; brief; lately"), or a blend of scant and skimp [Klein], or a back-formation from scamper. Related: Scamped; scamping.

Related entries & more 
scantly (adv.)

late 14c., scantlie, "frugally, sparingly;" c. 1400, "scarcely, narrowly, hardly at all," from scant (adj.) + -ly (2). OED reports it "Exceedingly common from the 15th to the middle of the 17th c.; in the 18th c. it had app. become obsolete; revived in literary use by Scott."

Related entries & more 
Advertisement
scanty (adj.)

1650s, "meager, barely sufficient for use;" 1701, "too small, limited in scope, lacking amplitude or extent," from scant (adj.) + -y (2). Related: Scantiness "insufficiency" (1560s). Scanties (n.) "underwear" (especially for women) is attested from 1928.

To speken of the horrible disordinat scantnesse of clothyng as ben thise kutted sloppes or hanselyns, that thurgh hire shortnesse ne couere nat the shameful membres of man to wikked entente. [Chaucer, "Parson's Tale"]
Related entries & more 
scantling (n.)

1520s, "measured or prescribed size," altered (to conform to -ling words) from earlier scantlon, scantiloun, scantillon "dimension" (c. 1400), earlier a type of mason's rod for measuring thickness (c. 1300), a shortening of Old French escantillon (Modern French échantillon "sample pattern"), which is of uncertain origin; traditionally regarded as a deformed word ultimately from Latin scandere "to climb" (see scan (v.)). The sense has been influenced by scant (adj.). Meaning "small wooden beam" is by 1660s. Related: Scantlings.

Related entries & more 
scrimp (v.)

1774, "to make too small, to pinch or scant," originally in English an adjective, "scant, meager" (1718), possibly from a Scandinavian source (compare Swedish skrumpna "to shrink, shrivel up," Danish skrumpen "shrunken, shriveled," Norwegian dialectal skramp "thin man"), 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").

The meaning "economize" is by 1848. Related: Scrimped; scrimping.

Related entries & more 
skimp (v.)

"deal scant measure to," 1879, probably a back-formation of skimpy, or a variant or alternative form of scamp or scrimp, or influenced by those words. Related: Skimped; skimping.

Related entries & more 
frisson (n.)

"emotional thrill," 1777 (Walpole), from French frisson "fever, illness; shiver, thrill" (12c.), from Latin frigere "to be cold" (see frigid). Scant record of the word in English between Walpole's use and 1888.

Related entries & more