From Proto-Indo-European *skēi-b- *ski-b-. Compare Lithuanian skiẽbti (“to rip up”), Latvian škibît (“to cut, lop”). Related to Proto-Germanic *skapjaną. The original meaning inherited from Proto-Indo-European was 'hollowed tree', and all daughter languages agree in the meaning 'ship', thus the specified meaning 'ship' is assumed for Proto-Germanic, however the Old High German word also had the meaning 'hollow object', so the Proto-Germanic word could also have been used in a more generic fashion. Moreover, one meaning does not have to exclude the other by rule. Cf. Latin vās (“hollow object”), source of French vaisseau (“vessel”).
- Old English: sċip, sċyp; > sċipian
- Old Frisian: skip
- Old Saxon: skip
- Old Dutch: *skip, scip
- Old High German: skif, scif, scef
- Old Norse skip; > skipa
- Gothic: 𐍃𐌺𐌹𐍀 (skip)