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  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈskʌp.ə/
  • (US) IPA(key): /ˈskʌp.ɚ/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ʌpə(ɹ)

Etymology 1[edit]

Origin uncertain. Perhaps from Middle English scope (scoop) or Dutch schop (shovel) +‎ -er; or from Dutch scheppen (to draw off).


scupper (plural scuppers)

  1. (nautical) A drainage hole on the deck of a ship.
  2. (architecture) A similar opening in a wall or parapet that allows water to drain from a roof.
Derived terms[edit]
Further reading[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

Of unknown origin; possibly verbized form of Etymology 1, but this is unlikely.


scupper (third-person singular simple present scuppers, present participle scuppering, simple past and past participle scuppered)

  1. (Britain) Thwart or destroy, especially something belonging or pertaining to another; compare scuttle.
    The bad media coverage scuppered his chances of being elected.
    • 2002, Hugo Young, The Guardian (2 Jul):
      "We can't allow US tantrums to scupper global justice."
    • 2019 October 19, Robert Kitson, “England into World Cup semi-finals after bruising victory over Australia”, in The Guardian, London: Guardian News & Media:
      Anthony Watson’s late interception and Owen Farrell’s 100% kicking contribution also helped scupper the Wallabies, despite the promise of their exciting new centre Jordan Petaia and the roadrunner pace of winger Marika Koroibete.
    • 2020 May 20, John Crosse, “Soon to be gone... but never forgotten”, in Rail, page 62:
      Pacers should have all been withdrawn by now, but that has been scuppered by a failure to deliver new trains on time and delays to infrastructure projects.
      The most high-profile withdrawals were to be Northern's Class 142s and '144s' (the latter by the end of 2018, and the '142s' by the end of last year).