From a dialectal variation of scrimp, probably from Middle Dutch or Middle Low German schrimpen (“to shrivel up, shrink”), ultimately from Proto-Germanic *skrimpaną, *skrimbaną (“to shrink”), related to Old English sċrimman (“to shrink, draw up, contract”). Related to dialectal English skrammed (“benumbed, paralysed”), English shrimp.
scrump (plural scrumps)
- (dialectal) Anything small or undersized.
- (dialectal, by extension) A withered, shrivelled, or undergrown person.
- (dialectal) A small apple.
- (dialectal) To gather windfalls or small apples left on trees.
- To steal fruit, especially apples, from a garden or orchard.
- 1994, Edward Bond, Edward Bond Letters, volume 1, page 180:
- (we've all seen trees, and arent Adam and Eve condemned for having gone scrumping?; interestingly a great philosopher recalled Saint Augustine spent a lot of his long life being racked with guilt for having gone scrumping for some pears when he was a boy! ...)
- 1997, Caradog Prichard, Philip Mitchell, transl., One Moonlit Night, page 18:
- 2000, Bill Oddie, Gripping Yarns, page 12:
- [I]t was something that every schoolboy of my generation almost `had' to do, as obligatory a proof of impending manliness as scrumping apples or pulling girls' pigtails.
- I told myself I'd never scrump gooseberries again, or go scrumping apples with Huw and Moi ...
- (dialectal) To pinch, stint; to beat down in price.