"cranium, the bony framework of the head," c. 1200, sculle, probably from Old Norse skalli "a bald head, skull," a general Scandinavian word (compare Swedish skulle, Norwegian skult), itself probably related to Old English scealu "husk" (see shell (n.)).
But early prominence in southwestern texts suggests rather origin from a Dutch or Low German cognate (such as Dutch schol "turf, piece of ice," but the sense of "head bone framework" is wanting). Derivation from Old French escuelle "bowl" seems unlikely on grounds of sound and sense. An Old English word for skull was heafod-bolla. Latin cranium also is glossed at least once in Middle English as braynpanne.
updated on December 14, 2022
Dictionary entries near skull