"miser, one who makes use of contemptible economy to keep money," c. 1700 ("Dictionary of the Canting Crew"), slang ; literally "kind of person who would skin a flint to save or gain something," from skin (v.) + flint. Flay-flint in same sense is from 1670s. Among the 18c. slang terms for a miserly person was nipcheese (1785, originally "a ship's purser").
updated on December 03, 2022