- an unscrupulous and often mischievous person; rascal; rogue; scalawag.
- a playful, mischievous, or naughty young person; upstart.
- a grouper, Mycteroperca phenax, of Florida: so called from its habit of stealing bait.
- to do or perform in a hasty or careless manner: to scamp work.
Origin of scamp
1775–85; obsolete scamp to travel about idly or for mischief, perhaps < obsolete Dutch schampen to be gone < Old French escamper to decamp
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for scamp
Fortnum is well behaved, but Mason appears to be a little more of a scamp.Penis Beakers and Constipated Dolls: What Mothers REALLY Want To Know
October 11, 2013
Go to your bedroom; and if you turn out a good-for-nothing and a scamp, it is no fault of mine.Rico and Wiseli
I was a scamp—but a frolicsome scamp—and that is always a popular character.Night and Morning, Complete
She could only trust to his being a scamp as her only hope of escape.
He ought to have played the scamp; he should have acted in concert with the Rougons.The Fortune of the Rougons
"I'm looking for that scamp of a Marjolin," replied the artist.The Fat and the Thin
- an idle mischievous person; rascal
- a mischievous child
C18: from scamp (vb) to be a highway robber, probably from Middle Dutch schampen to decamp, from Old French escamper, from es- ex- 1 + -camper, from Latin campus field
- a less common word for skimp
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
Word Origin and History for scamp
1782, "highway robber," probably from dialectal verb scamp "to roam" (1753, perhaps from 16c.), shortened from scamper. Used affectionately in sense "rascal" since 1808.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper