Origin of scot

1200–50; Middle English < Old Norse skattr tax, treasure; cognate with Old English gescot payment


  1. Scots.
  2. Scottish.


  1. a native or inhabitant of Scotland.
  2. one of an ancient Gaelic people who came from northern Ireland about the 6th century a.d. and settled in the northwestern part of Great Britain, and after whom Scotland was named.

Origin of Scot

before 900; Middle English; Old English Scottas (plural) < Late Latin Scottī the Irish
Can be confusedScot Scotch Scottish (see usage note at Scotch)

Usage note

See Scotch.

Scot. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for scot

Contemporary Examples of scot

Historical Examples of scot

  • Alexander Setonius, a Scot, was first of the moderns to achieve it.

    Micah Clarke

    Arthur Conan Doyle

  • Let him consider it a lucky escape, if, when we next meet, he gets off scot free!

    Henry Dunbar

    M. E. Braddon

  • The ungainly little Scot did not leave the Wythburn district.

  • "May ye hang him up for it, Bailiff Scroope," replied the Scot.

  • The Scot dropped the bridle at last; dropped it to pluck forth the weapon.

    Mistress Wilding

    Rafael Sabatini

British Dictionary definitions for scot


  1. a native or inhabitant of Scotland
  2. a member of a tribe of Celtic raiders from the north of Ireland who carried out periodic attacks against the British mainland coast from the 3rd century ad, eventually settling in N Britain during the 5th and 6th centuries


abbreviation for
  1. Scotch (whisky)
  2. Scotland
  3. Scottish
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 scot



Old English Scottas (plural) "inhabitants of Ireland, Irishmen," from Late Latin Scotti (c.400), of uncertain origin, perhaps from Celtic (but answering to no known tribal name; Irish Scots appears to be a Latin borrowing). The name followed the Irish tribe which invaded Scotland 6c. C.E. after the Romans withdrew from Britain, and after the time of Alfred the Great the Old English word described only the Irish who had settled in the northwest of Britain.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with scot


see get off (scot-free).

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.