scruff

1
[ skruhf ]
/ skrʌf /

noun

the nape or back of the neck.

Origin of scruff

1
1780–90; variant of dial. scuff, scuft < Dutch schoft horse's withers

Definition for scruff (2 of 2)

scruff

2
[ skruhf ]
/ skrʌf /

noun Metallurgy.

(in tin-plating) dross formed in the bath.

Origin of scruff

2
metathetic variant of scurf
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for scruff

British Dictionary definitions for scruff (1 of 2)

scruff

1
/ (skrʌf) /

noun

the nape of the neck (esp in the phrase by the scruff of the neck)

Word Origin for scruff

C18: variant of scuft, perhaps from Old Norse skoft hair; related to Old High German scuft

British Dictionary definitions for scruff (2 of 2)

scruff

2
/ (skrʌf) /

noun

informal an untidy scruffy person
informal a disreputable person, ruffian
another name for scum (def. 3)
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 scruff

scruff


n.

"nape of the neck," 1790, altered (by influence of scruff "crust") from scuft (1787), probably related to North Frisian skuft "back of the neck of a horse" and Dutch schoft "withers of a horse," from a common Germanic source (cf. Old Norse skopt "hair of the head," Gothic skuft, Middle High German schopf, German Schopf). Another theory holds it to be a variant of scurf.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper