Etymology
Advertisement
scurvy (n.)

debilitating disease that affects the skin, 1560s, noun use of adjective scurvy "covered with scabs, diseased with scurvy, scorbutic" (early 15c.), a variant of scurfy. By 1560s the adjective also could mean "vile, low, mean, vulgar." Related: Scurvied.

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."

Related entries & more 
Advertisement
scuse (v.)

shortened form of excuse (v.), attested from late 15c., implied in scused (Caxton); also as a noun, "a manorial exemption from certain taxes." In modern formations (since c. 1830) typically 'scuse, in 'scuse me.

Related entries & more 
scut (n.2)

term of contempt for a person, 1873, of unknown etymology. OED suggests it is a variant of scout (v.2).

Related entries & more 
scut (n.1)

"short, erect tail" (of a rabbit, hare, deer, etc.), 1520s; earlier "a hare" (mid-15c., perhaps c. 1300), a word of obscure origin.

Perhaps it is from Old Norse skjota "to shoot (with a weapon), launch, push, shove quickly" (compare Norwegian skudda "to shove, push"), from PIE root *skeud- "to shoot, chase, throw." Or perhaps it is a relative of Middle English sheten "hasten from one place to another," from Old English sceotan, sceotian, from Proto-Germanic *skeutanan (source also of Old Frisian skiata "to shoot, supply," Old Dutch scietan), for which Boutkan offers no IE etymology.

Also compare Middle English scut (v.) "make short, hurried runs," as a noun, "a short garment" (mid-15c.), as an adjective, "short" (c. 1200), perhaps from Old French escorter, from Latin excurtare.

Related entries & more 
scutcheon (n.)

"shield for armorial bearings," mid-14c., short for escutcheon.

Related entries & more 
Advertisement
scuttle (v.2)

"cut a hole in the bottom or sides of a ship," especially to sink it, 1640s, from skottell (n.) "small, square hatchway or opening in a ship's deck" (late 15c.), from French escoutille (Modern French écoutille) or directly from Spanish escotilla "hatchway," diminutive of escota "opening in a garment," from escotar "cut (clothes to fit), cut out." This is perhaps from e- "out" (see ex-) + a word borrowed from a Germanic language (ultimately from PIE root *sker- (1) "to cut"). Figurative sense of "deliberately sink or destroy one's own effort or project" is by 1888. Related: Scuttled; scuttling.

Related entries & more 
scuttle (v.1)

"run hurriedly, scamper, scurry," mid-15c. (implied in scuttling), probably related to or a frequentative form of scud (v.). Also compare scut (n.1). Related: Scuttled.

I should have been a pair of ragged claws
Scuttling across the floors of silent seas.
[T.S. Eliot, from "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock"]

As a noun, "a short, hurried run," by 1620s.

Related entries & more 
scuttle (n.)

Middle English scutel "dish; basket, winnowing basket," from late Old English scutel "broad, shallow dish; platter," from Latin scutella "serving platter" (source also of Old French escuelle, Modern French écuelle, Spanish escudilla, Italian scudella "a plate, bowl"), diminutive of scutra "flat tray, dish," which is perhaps related to scutum "shield" (see escutcheon).

A common Germanic borrowing from Latin (Old Norse skutill, Middle Dutch schotel, Old High German scuzzila, German Schüssel "a dish"). The meaning "basket for sifting grain" is attested from mid-14c.; the sense of "deep, sheet-metal bucket for holding small amounts of coal" is by 1849, short for coal-scuttle. An Arnaldus Scutelmuth turns up in a roll from 1275.

Related entries & more 
scuttlebutt (n.)

also scuttle-butt, 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). The slang meaning "rumor, gossip" is recorded by 1901, traditionally said to be from the sailors' custom of gathering around the scuttlebutt to gossip while at sea. Compare water-cooler, figurative for "workplace gossip" in mid-20c.

Related entries & more 
Scutum 

constellation, added 1687 by Polish astronomer Johannes Hevelius, originally Scutum Sobiescanum "Shield of (King John) Sobeski," the 17c. Polish monarch famous as the savior of Christendom for his victory over the Ottomans at the Battle of Vienna (1683). The name was later shortened. From Latin scutum "shield" (see escutcheon). Middle English had scutifer "shield-bearer (late 14c.), from Medieval Latin.

Related entries & more 

Page 98