scarf

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English[edit]

Man wearing a red scarf

Pronunciation[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

Probably from Old Northern French escarpe (compare Old French escharpe (pilgrim's purse suspended from the neck)). The verb is derived from the noun. Doublet of scrip.

Noun[edit]

scarf (plural scarves or scarfs)

  1. A long, often knitted, garment worn around the neck.
    • 1963, Margery Allingham, chapter 2, in The China Governess[1]:
      Now that she had rested and had fed from the luncheon tray Mrs. Broome had just removed, she had reverted to her normal gaiety.  She looked cool in a grey tailored cotton dress with a terracotta scarf and shoes and her hair a black silk helmet.
  2. A headscarf.
  3. (dated) A neckcloth or cravat.
Derived terms[edit]
Descendants[edit]
  • Welsh: sgarff
Translations[edit]

Verb[edit]

scarf (third-person singular simple present scarfs, present participle scarfing, simple past and past participle scarfed)

  1. To throw on loosely; to put on like a scarf.
  2. To dress with a scarf, or as with a scarf; to cover with a loose wrapping.

Etymology 2[edit]

A scarf joint
Sewing machine needles with scarf shown on right

Of uncertain origin. Possibly from Old Norse skarfr, derivative of skera (to cut).

Noun[edit]

scarf (plural scarfs)

  1. A type of joint in woodworking.
  2. A groove on one side of a sewing machine needle.
  3. A dip or notch or cut made in the trunk of a tree to direct its fall when felling.
Synonyms[edit]
Translations[edit]

Verb[edit]

scarf (third-person singular simple present scarfs, present participle scarfing, simple past and past participle scarfed)

  1. To shape by grinding.
  2. To form a scarf on the end or edge of, as for a joint in timber, forming a "V" groove for welding adjacent metal plates, metal rods, etc.
  3. To unite, as two pieces of timber or metal, by a scarf joint.

Etymology 3[edit]

Generally thought to be a variant, attested since the 1950s, of scoff (eat (quickly)) (of which scorf is another attested variant), itself a variant of scaff.[1][2] Sometimes alternatively suggested to be a dialectal survival of Old English scearfian, sceorfan (gnaw, bite) (compare scurf).[3]

Verb[edit]

scarf (third-person singular simple present scarfs, present participle scarfing, simple past and past participle scarfed)

  1. (transitive, US, slang) To eat very quickly.
    Synonym: (UK) scoff
    You sure scarfed that pizza.
    • 1983, Raymond Carver, Cathedral:
      We dug in. We ate everything there was to eat on the table. We ate like there was no tomorrow. We didn't talk. We ate. We scarfed. We grazed that table. We were into serious eating. We finished everything, including half a strawberry pie.
Derived terms[edit]
Translations[edit]

Etymology 4[edit]

From Old Norse skarfr.

Noun[edit]

scarf (plural scarfs)

  1. (Scotland) A cormorant.

References[edit]

  1. ^ scarf”, in Merriam–Webster Online Dictionary, (Please provide a date or year).
  2. ^ scarf” in Dictionary.com Unabridged, Dictionary.com, LLC, 1995–present.
  3. ^ Douglas Harper (2001–2021) , “scarf”, in Online Etymology Dictionary

Anagrams[edit]


Old High German[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Proto-Germanic *skarpaz, whence also Old Saxon skarp, Old English scearp, Old Norse skarpr. Ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *(s)kerb-, from *(s)ker- (to cut).

Adjective[edit]

scarf

  1. sharp

Descendants[edit]