"short, erect tail" (of a rabbit, hare, deer, etc.), 1520s; earlier "a hare" (mid-15c.), perhaps from Old Norse skjota "to shoot (with a weapon), launch, push, shove quickly" (compare Norwegian skudda "to shove, push"), from PIE root *skeud- "to shoot, chase, throw."
term of contempt for a person, 1873, of unknown origin.
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