"band of silk, strip of cloth," 1550s, "a band worn across the body or over the shoulders," probably from Old North French escarpe "sash, sling," which probably is identical with Old French escherpe "pilgrim's purse suspended from the neck," perhaps from Frankish *skirpja or some other Germanic source (compare Old Norse skreppa "small bag, wallet, satchel"), or from Medieval Latin scirpa "little bag woven of rushes," from Latin scirpus "rush, bulrush," of unknown origin [Klein]. As a cold-weather covering for the neck, first recorded 1844. Plural scarfs began to yield to scarves early 18c., on model of half/halves, etc.
"connecting joint," late 13c., probably from a Scandinavian source (such as Old Norse skarfr "nail for fastening a joint; diagonally cut end of a board," Swedish skarf, Norwegian skarv), from Proto-Germanic *skarfaz (source also of Dutch scherf), from PIE root *sker- (1) "to cut." Also used as a verb. Also borrowed into Romanic (French écart, Spanish escarba).
"eat hastily," 1960, U.S. teen slang, originally a noun meaning "food, meal" (1932), perhaps imitative, or from scoff (attested in a similar sense from 1846). Or perhaps from a dialectal survival of Old English sceorfan "to gnaw, bite" (see scarf (n.2)); a similar word is found in a South African context in the 1600s. Related: Scarfed; scarfing.
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