mid-12c., "person of ribald speech," later "person fond of abusive language" (c. 1300), especially a shrewish woman [Johnson defines it as "A clamourous, rude, mean, low, foul-mouthed woman"], from Old Norse skald "poet" (see skald). The sense evolution might reflect the fact that Germanic poets (like their Celtic counterparts) were famously feared for their ability to lampoon and mock (as in skaldskapr "poetry," also, in Icelandic law books, "libel in verse").
late 14c., "be abusive or quarrelsome," from scold (n.). Related: Scolded; scolding.
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