late 14c., scouten, "observe or explore as a scout, travel in search of information," from Middle English scout-watch "sentinel, guard" (compare scout (n.)) or else Old French escouter "to listen, to heed" (Modern French écouter), from Latin auscultare "to listen to, give heed to" (see auscultate). Related: Scouted; scouting.
"to reject (something) with scorn," 1710, earlier "to mock, ridicule, treat with disdain and contempt" (c. 1600, now obsolete), of Scandinavian origin (compare Old Norse skuta, skute "to taunt"), from skotja "to shoot" (on the notion of a "shooting of words"), which according to Watkins is from a Proto-Germanic *skut- from PIE root *skeud- "to shoot, chase, throw." also source of shout (v.). Compare Middle English scoute (n.) "a wretch, rascal, rogue" (male or female), attested from late 14c. Related: Scouted; scouting; scoutingly.
"person who scouts, one sent out to gain and bring in information," 1550s, from scout (v.1). Scout-watch (late 14c.) was an old word for "sentinel, guard." Boy Scout is from 1908, as is Scout for a shortening of it. Scout's honor in reference to Boy Scouting is attested from 1908.
updated on February 21, 2022