"spare, scanty," 1842, from skimp (adj.) "scanty" (1775), which perhaps ultimately is from an early 18c. alteration of scrimp or a variant of scamp (v.). According to OED, "not in general use until late 19th c." Skimping, in the same sense, from the adjective, is attested by 1778. Related: Skimpily; skimpiness.
updated on December 03, 2022