verb (used without object) British.

to flee or depart suddenly, especially without having paid one's bills.

Origin of scarper

1840–50; orig. argot, probably < PolariItalian scappare to flee (see escape) Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for scarper


verb (intr)

to depart in haste


a hasty departure

Word Origin for scarper

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