verb (used with object)

verb (used without object)

Informal. to scalp tickets, stocks, or the like.

Origin of scalp

1250–1300; Middle English (north) (noun), perhaps < Old Norse skālpr sheath (hence, metaphorically a covering)
Related formsscalp·er, nounscalp·less, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

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Contemporary Examples of scalping

Historical Examples of scalping

British Dictionary definitions for scalping



a process in which the top portion of a metal ingot is machined away before use, thus removing the layer containing defects and impurities



anatomy the skin and subcutaneous tissue covering the top of the head
(among North American Indians) a part of this removed as a trophy from a slain enemy
a trophy or token signifying conquest
hunting, mainly US a piece of hide cut from the head of a victim as a trophy or as proof of killing in order to collect a bounty
informal, mainly US a small speculative profit taken in quick transactions
Scot dialect a projection of bare rock from vegetation

verb (tr)

to cut the scalp from
informal, mainly US to purchase and resell (securities) quickly so as to make several small profits
informal to buy (tickets) cheaply and resell at an inflated price
Derived Formsscalper, noun

Word Origin for scalp

C13: probably from Scandinavian; compare Old Norse skalpr sheath, Middle Dutch schelpe, Danish skalp husk
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 scalping



mid-14c., "top of the head (including hair)," presumably from a Scandinavian source (though exact cognates are wanting) related to Old Norse skalli "a bald head," skalpr "sheath, scabbard,"from the source of scale (n.1). French scalpe, German, Danish, Swedish skalp are from English. Meaning "head skin and hair as proof of death or a victory trophy" is from c.1600.



"to cut off (someone's) scalp," 1670s, from scalp (n.), originally in reference to North American Indians. For ticket re-selling sense, see scalper. Related: Scalped; scalping. Cf. German skalpern, Danish skalpere, Swedish skalpera. French scalper is from Germanic. Similarity to Latin scalpere "to cut, carve" is accidental.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for scalping




The skin covering the top of the head.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.