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Origin of scumbag

First recorded in 1965–70; scum + bag Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

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Contemporary Examples of scumbag

British Dictionary definitions for scumbag


  1. slang an offensive or despicable person

Word Origin for scumbag

C20: perhaps from earlier US sense: condom, from US slang scum semen + bag
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 scumbag

"condom," by 1939, slang, from scum + bag (n.). Earlier (by 1817) it was used in sugar refining as the name of a frame covered in coarse cloth used in straining. Meaning "despicable person" is attested by 1971.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper