- to flee or depart suddenly, especially without having paid one's bills.
Origin of scarper
1840–50; orig. argot, probably < Polari ≪ Italian scappare to flee (see escape)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
- to depart in haste
- a hasty departure
C19: probably an adaptation of Italian scappare to escape; perhaps influenced by folk etymology Scapa Flow Cockney rhyming slang for go
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