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EB1911 - Volume 01 - Page 001 - 1.svg This etymology is missing or incomplete. Please add to it, or discuss it at the Etymology scriptorium.
Particularly: “Any explanation for how the prostitute sense arose from the underlying to cut, to shearsense? Confusing semantic development.”

From Proto-Indo-European *(s)ker- (to cut). Compare scrōtum, scrautum, scrūta. See also corium, Proto-Germanic *skeraną (whence English shear), Ancient Greek κείρω (keírō, I cut off), Albanian harr (to cut, to mow), Lithuanian skìrti (separate), Welsh ysgar (separate), Old Armenian քերեմ (kʿerem, to scrape, scratch).



scortum n (genitive scortī); second declension

  1. a skin, hide
  2. a harlot, prostitute


Second-declension noun (neuter).

Case Singular Plural
Nominative scortum scorta
Genitive scortī scortōrum
Dative scortō scortīs
Accusative scortum scorta
Ablative scortō scortīs
Vocative scortum scorta


Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]


  • scortum in Charlton T. Lewis and Charles Short (1879) A Latin Dictionary, Oxford: Clarendon Press
  • scortum in Charlton T. Lewis (1891) An Elementary Latin Dictionary, New York: Harper & Brothers
  • scortum in Charles du Fresne du Cange’s Glossarium Mediæ et Infimæ Latinitatis (augmented edition with additions by D. P. Carpenterius, Adelungius and others, edited by Léopold Favre, 1883–1887)
  • scortum in Gaffiot, Félix (1934) Dictionnaire illustré Latin-Français, Hachette