1758, "run, fly, make off, move suddenly or swiftly," perhaps originally nautical slang, of uncertain origin, possibly from a Scandinavian source such as Old Norse skjota "to shoot," and thus related to shoot (v.). There are similar words in dialect and jargon, but the connection is unclear. OED suspects the word became obsolete in British English early 19c. and was re-introduced from America. From 1805 as "flow or gush out with force" (Scottish). Related: Scooted; scooting. As a noun from 1864, "act or action of scooting."
updated on February 03, 2022