Etymology
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truant (n.)
c. 1200, "beggar, vagabond," from Old French truant "beggar, rogue" (12c.), as an adjective, "wretched, miserable, of low caste," from Gaulish *trougant- (compare Breton *truan, later truant "vagabond," Welsh truan "wretch," Gaelic truaghan "wretched"), of uncertain origin. Compare Spanish truhan "buffoon," from same source. Meaning "one who wanders from an appointed place," especially "a child who stays away from school without leave" is first attested mid-15c.
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truant (adj.)
"idle, loitering, given to shirking duty or business," 1540s, from truant (n.).
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truancy (n.)
1754, from truant + abstract noun suffix -cy.
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hooky (n.)
also hookey, in the truant sense, 1848, American English (New York City), only in the phrase play hooky; from Dutch hoekje "hide and seek;" or else from hook it, attested since 14c. as "make off, run away," originally "depart, proceed."
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skulk (v.)

c. 1200, from a Scandinavian source such as Norwegian skulke "to shirk, malinger," Danish skulke "to spare oneself, shirk," Swedish skolka "to shirk, skulk, slink, play truant." Common in Middle English but lacking in 15c.-16c. records; possibly reborrowed 17c. Related: Skulked; skulking; skulkery. Skulker as an old name for the hare is attested from c. 1300. Middle English also had skulkerie "concealment, stealthy behavior or action" c. 1400.

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