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[skad] /skæd/
noun, plural (especially collectively) scad (especially referring to two or more kinds or species) scads.
any carangid fish of the genus Decapterus, inhabiting tropical and subtropical shore waters.
any of several related carangid fishes, as of the genera Trachurus or Selar.
Origin of scad1
First recorded in 1595-1605; origin uncertain Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for scads
Historical Examples
  • She'll ne'er backward linger, this land of our dads, for she is a dinger at nailing the scads.

    Rippling Rhymes

    Walt Mason
  • You'll find a buckskin purse, with some scads in it, in the bag.

  • One day they were out and caught six mackerel and six scads.

    Cornish Saints and Sinners J. Henry Harris
  • Now, scads are of small value, and yet Dick got them all, and Hugh all the mackerel.

    Cornish Saints and Sinners J. Henry Harris
  • Oh, heaps of them—scores—dead oodles and scads of 'em, as we girls say.

    Recollections of a Varied Life George Cary Eggleston
  • Thet gurl's not only white—she's got money, scads ov it, and is a good looker.

    The Devil's Own

    Randall Parrish
  • Of course we always got scads of these too, but this was a very normal thing.

    Warren Commission (10 of 26): Hearings Vol. X (of 15) The President's Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy
  • Promoters grovel at his feet, and offer heaps of scads, if he will condescend to meet some other bruising lads.

    Rippling Rhymes

    Walt Mason
  • He jist shoved them scads what hed been given him careless-like down inter his coat pocket, an' faced Mister Manager.

    Beth Norvell

    Randall Parrish
British Dictionary definitions for scads


plural noun
(informal) a large amount or number
Word Origin
C19: of uncertain origin


noun (pl) scad, scads
any of various carangid fishes of the genus Trachurus, esp the horse mackerel
Word Origin
C17: of uncertain origin; compare Swedish skädde flounder
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for scads

"large amounts," 1869, American English, earlier "dollar" (1855, usually in plural), of uncertain origin. Unknown connection to scad, the fish, which were "often very abundant and occasionally seen in enormous shoals":

In July, 1834, as Mr. Yarrell informs us, most extraordinary shoals passed up the channel along the coast of Glamorganshire; their passage occupied a week, and they were evidently in pursuit of the fry of the herring. The water appeared one dark mass of fish, and they were caught by cart-loads, and might even be baled out of the water by the hands alone. ["British Fish and Fisheries," 1849]



c.1600, Cornish name for a type of fish (also known as horse mackerel) abundant on the British coast; of uncertain origin, perhaps a variant of shad. OED compares Welsh ysgaden "herrings," Norwegian dialectal skad, Swedish skädde "flounder."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for scads



  1. A large quantity of money (1890+)
  2. A large quantity of anything; bags, oodles: I have scads of studying to do (1809+)

[origin unknown; perhaps fr British dialect, ''shed,'' and hence semantically akin to a shithouse full]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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