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[skamp] /skæmp/
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.
verb (used with object)
to do or perform in a hasty or careless manner:
to scamp work.
Origin of scamp
obsolete Dutch
1775-85; obsolete scamp to travel about idly or for mischief, perhaps < obsolete Dutch schampen to be gone < Old French escamper to decamp
Related forms
scamper, noun
scampingly, adverb
scampish, adjective
scampishly, adverb
scampishness, noun
unscamped, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for scampish
Historical Examples
  • Richard was the scampish brother by whose death she inherited all.

    Rossmoyne Unknown
  • Why the deuce should this fellow be going to Coveton, of all places least calculated to attract such a scampish vagabond?

  • A slight shade fell over the reckless, scampish face; he was a moment vexed that we scorned him.

    Helmet of Navarre Bertha Runkle
  • Lovat, the eldest son, being the handsomest and by far the most scampish of the children, is of course his mother's idol.

    Molly Bawn Margaret Wolfe Hamilton
  • She sallies forth at night, and her friends are the scampish among the sons of the lower class of tenant-farmers.

    Hodge and His Masters Richard Jefferies
  • Why did these scampish blacks not feel satisfied after having received double payment?

    Missing Friends

    Thorvald Weitemeyer
  • "That scampish fellow's conduct is killing poor Lackington," would say a noble lord.

    Davenport Dunn, Volume 1 (of 2) Charles James Lever
  • The vetturino, his scampish grey eyes looking white like glass in his dark-red face, drove nearer.

    Shadows of Flames Amelie Rives
  • But children will be scampish; and once their earnestness of desire to be good was put to unexpected and somewhat drastic proof.

    Lotus Buds

    Amy Carmichael
British Dictionary definitions for scampish


an idle mischievous person; rascal
a mischievous child
Derived Forms
scampish, adjective
Word Origin
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
Derived Forms
scamper, noun
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 scampish



1782, "highway robber," probably from dialectal verb scamp "to roam" (1753, perhaps from 16c.), shortened from scamper. Used affectionately in sense "rascal" since 1808.



"do in a hasty manner," 1837, perhaps from a Scandinavian source (cf. Old Norse skemma "to shorten, make shorter," from skammr "short; brief; lately"), or a blend of scant and skimp [Klein], or a back-formation from scamper. Related: Scamped; scamping.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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