Words related to sch


digraph used in Old French for the "tsh" sound. In some French dialects, including that of Paris (but not that of Picardy), Latin ca- became French "tsha." This was introduced to English after the Norman Conquest, in words borrowed from Old French such as chaste, charity, chief (adj.). Under French influence, -ch- also was inserted into Anglo-Saxon words that had the same sound (such as bleach, chest, church) which in Old English still was written with a simple -c-, and into those that had formerly been spelled with a -c- and pronounced "k" such as chin and much.

As French evolved, the "t" sound dropped out of -ch-, so in later loan-words from French -ch- has only the sound "sh-" (chauffeur, machine (n.), chivalry, etc.).

It turns up as well in words from classical languages (chaos, echo, etc.). Most uses of -ch- in Roman Latin were in words from Greek, which in Greek would be pronounced correctly as /k/ + /h/, as in modern blockhead, but most Romans would have said merely /k/, and this was the regular pronunciation in English. Before c. 1500 such words were regularly spelled with a -c- (Crist, cronicle, scoole), but Modern English has preserved or restored the etymological spelling in most of them (chemical, chorus, monarch). 

Sometimes ch- is written to keep -c- hard before a front vowel, as still in modern Italian. In some languages (Welsh, Spanish, Czech) ch- can be treated as a separate letter and words in it are alphabetized after -c- (or, in Czech and Slovak, after -h-). The sound also is heard in words from more distant languages (as in cheetah, chintz), and the digraph also is used to represent the sound in Scottish loch.

schnapps (n.)

1818, a kind of Holland gin or a strong, colorless spirit resembling it, from German Schnaps, literally "a mouthful, gulp," from Low German snaps, from snappen "to snap" (see snap (v.)). For sense, compare nip for "alcoholic drink quickly taken." Used in 19c. for "spiritous liquor of any sort;" the flavored varieties are modern.

schlemiel (n.)

"awkward, clumsy person," 1868, from Yiddish shlemiel "bungler," from main character in German poet Adelbert von Chamisso's popular fable "Peter Schlemihls wundersame Geschichte" ("The Wonderful History of Peter Schlemihl," 1813); probably the word ultimately is from the Biblical name Shelumiel (Numbers i.6), chief of the tribe of Simeon, identified with the Simeonite prince Zimri ben Salu, who was killed while committing adultery. Compare schlemazel.

school (n.1)
Origin and meaning of school

[place of instruction] Middle English scole, from Old English scol, "institution for instruction," from Latin schola "meeting place for teachers and students, place of instruction;" also "learned conversation, debate; lecture; disciples of a teacher, body of followers, sect," also in the older Greek sense of "intermission of work, leisure for learning."

This is from Greek skholē "spare time, leisure, rest, ease; idleness; that in which leisure is employed; learned discussion;" also "a place for lectures, school;" originally "a holding back, a keeping clear," from skhein "to get" (from PIE root *segh- "to hold") + -olē by analogy with bolē "a throw," stolē "outfit," etc.

The basic sense of the Greek word is "leisure," which passed to "otiose discussion" (in Athens or Rome, the favorite or proper use of free time), then it came to be used for the place for such discussion.

The Latin word was widely borrowed (in addition to Old French escole, French école, Spanish escuela, Italian scuola; Old High German scuola, German Schule, Swedish skola, Gaelic sgiol, Welsh ysgol, Russian shkola).

The meaning "students attending a school" in English is attested from c. 1300; the sense of "school building" is by 1590s. Sense of "people united by a general similarity of principles and methods" is from 1610s; hence school of thought (by 1848). As an adjective by mid-18c., "pertaining to or relating to a school or to education."

School of hard knocks "rough experience in life" is by 1870; to tell tales out of school "betray damaging secrets" is from 1540s. School-bus is from 1908. School days is from 1590s. School board "local committee of education" is by 1836; school district "division of a town or city for the management of schools" is by 1809.

schism (n.)

late 14c., scisme, sisme, cisme, "outward dissension within the church," producing two or more parties with rival authorities, from Old French scisme, cisme "a cleft, split" (12c.) and directly from Church Latin schisma, scisma (in Medieval Latin also cisma), from Greek skhisma (genitive skhismatos) "division, cleft," from stem of skhizein "to split"  (from PIE root *skei- "to cut, split").

The Greek word was applied metaphorically in the New Testament to divisions in the Church (I Corinthians xii.25), 

The classical spelling was restored 16c., but the pronunciation is unsettled. The general sense of "disunion, division, separation" is from early 15c. Historically, often in reference to the Great Schism (1378-1417) in the Western Church.

scream (n.)

c. 1500, "a sharp, piercing sound or cry," expressive of pain, alarm, etc., from scream (v.).

And (as they say) lamentings heard i' th' Ayre; Strange Schreemes of Death. ["Macbeth," II.iii.61]

That spelling probably reflects "sk-" as spelled in words from Latin (such as school; see sch); his early editions also have schreene for screen. The slang meaning "something very great, excellent, or exciting," especially "something that evokes a cry of laughter" is by 1888; screamer in this sense is from 1831.