1670s, "long pin of wood or iron for fastening meat to a spit while roasting," a variant of dialectal skiver (1660s), which is perhaps from a Scandinavian source such as Old Norse skifa "a cut, slice" (of bread, etc.), Swedish skifer "a slate," which are related to shiver (n.1) "small piece."
"fasten or pierce with skewers," 1701, from the noun. Figurative use by 1850. Related: Skewered; skewering.
updated on December 01, 2022