Etymology
Advertisement

scaffold (n.)

mid-14c., "temporary wooden framework upon which workmen stand in erecting a building, etc.," a shortening of an Old North French variant of Old French eschafaut "scaffold" (Modern French échafaud), probably altered (by influence of eschace "a prop, support") from chaffaut, from Vulgar Latin *catafalicum.

This is from Greek kata- "down" (see cata-), used in Medieval Latin with a sense of "beside, alongside" + fala "scaffolding, wooden siege tower," a word said to be of Etruscan origin.

From late 14c. as "raised platform on a stage in a play;" the general sense of "viewing stand" is from c. 1400. The meaning "platform for a hanging" is from 1550s (as a platform for a beheading from mid-15c.). Dutch schavot, German Schafott, Danish skafot are from French.

As a verb from mid-15c., scaffolden, "construct a scaffold;" by 1660s as "put a scaffold up to" (a building).

Advertisement
Advertisement
Definitions of scaffold
1
scaffold (n.)
a platform from which criminals are executed (hanged or beheaded);
scaffold (n.)
a temporary arrangement erected around a building for convenience of workers;
2
scaffold (v.)
provide with a scaffold for support;
scaffold the building before painting it
From wordnet.princeton.edu