Either deverbal from shqipoj (“to speak clearly”), or else from shqipe, shkype, dialectal forms of shkabë (“eagle”), according to a tribal totemic belief linked to the Albanian medieval flag. Replaced the now dialectal (Arbërësh, Arvantika) arbër ~ arbën.
Petar Skok suggested that this word is originated from Scupi (Shkupi), the capital of the Roman province of Dardania (today's Skopje).  According to Petar Skok, the Albanian demonym Shkuptar (as in inhabitant of Skopje) changed to Shkiptar, which is still used among Arvanitis Albanians in Greece, and later to Shqiptar .
shqip m (feminine shqipe)