From Middle English scavage, schevage, schewage, from Old French *scavage, escavage, escauwage, alteration of earlier escauvinghe (“scavage”), from Middle English shewing, schewing (“inspection, examination, show”), from Old English scēawung (“a looking at, seeing, contemplation, consideration, respect, regard, reconnoitering, surveying, inspection, examination, scrutiny, a spectacle, show, appearance, pretence, a showing, exhibiting, manifestation, toll on exposure of goods”), equivalent to show + -ing.
scavage (plural scavages)
- (historical) A toll or duty anciently exacted from merchant strangers by mayors, sheriffs, etc. for goods offered for sale within their precincts.
Back-formation from scavager.