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[skou] /skaʊ/
any of various vessels having a flat-bottomed rectangular hull with sloping ends, built in various sizes with or without means of propulsion, as barges, punts, rowboats, or sailboats.
Eastern U.S. a barge carrying bulk material in an open hold.
an old or clumsy boat; hulk; tub.
verb (used with object)
to transport by scow.
Origin of scow
1660-70, Americanism; < Dutch schouw ferryboat Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for scow
Historical Examples
  • All at once I saw directly in front a scow struggling to make the shore.

    The Trail of '98

    Robert W. Service
  • I saw the man jump out with a rope and try to snub the scow to a tree.

    The Trail of '98

    Robert W. Service
  • We took the rapids broadside on, but the scow was light and very strong.

    The Trail of '98

    Robert W. Service
  • The long painter of the scow had been extended over, and fastened to, the three boats.

    Breaking Away Oliver Optic
  • There will be time enough then to load the scow, and reach the island by daylight.

    Breaking Away Oliver Optic
  • The Splash filled away, and we landed at the point where the scow lay.

    Breaking Away Oliver Optic
  • The line came up to me easily, cast off from the scow at the other end.

  • I dropped in at the scow the second day after the packet brought me home.

  • The mass concrete was mixed and placed by the scow plant, shown by Fig. 84.

    Concrete Construction Halbert P. Gillette
  • Below the water the form was that of a scow, the bottom being flat.

British Dictionary definitions for scow


an unpowered barge used for freight; lighter
(esp in the midwestern US) a sailing yacht with a flat bottom, designed to plane
Word Origin
C18: via Dutch schouw from Low German schalde, related to Old Saxon skaldan to push (a boat) into the sea
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 scow

"large flat-bottomed boat," 1780, from Dutch schouw "a ferry boat, punt," from Middle Dutch scouwe, related to Old English scaldan, Old Saxon scaldan "to push (a boat) from shore."

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



A large truck (1940s+ Truckers)1


  1. To kill; murder: overshoot or undershoot and scrag some scared civilian (1930+)
  2. To destroy or severely damage; ruin: The beet sugar people try to scrag the cane sugar people (1835+)
  3. To do the sex act with or to; screw, scrog: the middle-American hobby of scragging the random housewife at any opportunity (1970s+)

[fr earlier slang, ''hang by the neck'']

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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