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British Dictionary definitions for skelm

skelm

noun
  1. Southern African informal a villain or crook

Word Origin

Afrikaans
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

Examples from the Web for skelm

Historical Examples

  • Oom Leeuw crept up slowly, quietly, like a skelm, behind Brother Bullfrog.

    Outa Karel's Stories

    Sanni Metelerkamp


Word Origin and History for skelm

n.

also skellum, "a rascal, scamp, scoundrel," 1610s, from Dutch schelm, from German schelm "rascal, devil, pestilence, etc.," from Old High German scelmo. Used by Dryden, but "Now arch. (except in S.Africa)" [OED].

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper