- Southern African informal a villain or crook
Word Origin for skelm
Examples from the Web for skelm
Historical Examples of skelm
Oom Leeuw crept up slowly, quietly, like a skelm, behind Brother Bullfrog.Outa Karel's Stories
Word Origin and History for skelm
also skellum, "a rascal, scamp, scoundrel," 1610s, from Dutch schelm, from German schelm "rascal, devil, pestilence, etc.," from Old High German scelmo. Used by Dryden, but "Now arch. (except in S.Africa)" [OED].