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Henry Towneley Green

Alternative forms[edit]


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.


  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈskɹʌmp/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ʌmp


scrump (plural scrumps)

  1. (dialectal) Anything small or undersized.
  2. (dialectal) A withered, shrivelled, or undergrown person.
  3. (dialectal) A small apple.


scrump (third-person singular simple present scrumps, present participle scrumping, simple past and past participle scrumped)

  1. (dialectal) To gather windfalls or small apples left on trees.
  2. 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, translated by   Philip Mitchell, One Moonlit Night[1], 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 ...
    • 2006, Richard Dawkins, chapter 7, in The God Delusion, Boston: Houghton Mifflin, →ISBN, page 251:
      Scrumping itself is a mot juste of unusual economy. It doesn’t just mean stealing: it specifically means stealing apples and only apples.
  3. (dialectal) To pinch, stint; to beat down in price.
  4. (slang, dated) To have sex.


See also[edit]