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See more synonyms for scamp on Thesaurus.com
  1. an unscrupulous and often mischievous person; rascal; rogue; scalawag.
  2. a playful, mischievous, or naughty young person; upstart.
  3. a grouper, Mycteroperca phenax, of Florida: so called from its habit of stealing bait.
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verb (used with object)
  1. to do or perform in a hasty or careless manner: to scamp work.
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Origin of scamp

1775–85; obsolete scamp to travel about idly or for mischief, perhaps < obsolete Dutch schampen to be gone < Old French escamper to decamp
Related formsscamp·er, nounscamp·ing·ly, adverbscamp·ish, adjectivescamp·ish·ly, adverbscamp·ish·ness, nounun·scamped, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for scamping

scrimp, screw, slight, pinch, scrape, withhold, spare, scamp, scant, save, stint

Examples from the Web for scamping

Historical Examples of scamping

  • That's it, but what has that to do with the scare at the tunnel and the scamping?

    Scamping Tricks and Odd Knowledge

    John Newman

  • In fact, scamping the work was with this man a kind of mania.

  • There is no scamping detail here, nor is there any excess of it.

    Dumas' Paris

    Francis Miltoun

  • Yet so sure is his touch that in the mass of these hundreds of designs to Shakespeare you are not conscious of any scamping.

  • M. Stumpe's intrepid industry was further shown in disregard of customary "scamping" subterfuges.

British Dictionary definitions for scamping


  1. an idle mischievous person; rascal
  2. a mischievous child
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Derived Formsscampish, adjective

Word Origin for scamp

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


  1. a less common word for skimp
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Derived Formsscamper, 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

Word Origin and History for scamping



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

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"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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper