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Borrowed from Scots skaith.


skaith (plural skaiths)

  1. (Scotland, law, obsolete) Alternative form of scathe: damage.


  • Oxford English Dictionary, 1st ed. "scathe, n." Oxford University Press (Oxford), 1910.



Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English scathe, from Old English sceaþa (also sceaþu (scathe, harm, injury), from Proto-Germanic *skaþô (damage, scathe). Cognate with English scathe.



skaith (uncountable)

  1. harm, damage, hurt, injury, mischief
    • 1780, Robert Burns, Poems And Songs Of Robert Burns[2]:
      --Quoth I, "Guid faith, Ye're maybe come to stap my breath; But tent me, billie; I red ye weel, tak care o' skaith See, there's a gully!"
      (please add an English translation of this quote)
    • 1806, Walter Scott, Minstrelsy of the Scottish border (3rd ed) (1 of 3)[3]:
      --And attour, either of the saids parties bind and oblige them, be the faith and truth of their bodies, ilk ane to others, that they shall be leil and true to others, and neither of them will another's skaith, but they shall let it at their power, and give to others their best counsel, and it be asked; and shall take leil and aeffald part ilk ane with others, with their kin, friends, servants, allies, and partakers, in all and sundry their actions, quarrels, and debates, against all that live and die (may the allegiance of our sovereign lord the king allenarly be excepted).
      (please add an English translation of this quote)
  2. something that harms; a harmful agent or influence
  3. damage done by the trespass of animals; the act or offence thereof
  4. harm or injury attributed to witchcraft or the evil eye; a disorder of cattle supposedly caused by this
  5. damage or injury involving compensation or financial requital; damages, costs, penalty
  6. a compensation paid to one for one's trouble or services; a liability for such
    to stand in one's skaith
    to be in one's debt
  7. a matter for regret; a pity, shame

Derived terms[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

From Middle English scathen, skathen, from Old English sceaþian, scaþan (to scathe, hurt, harm, injure) and Old Norse skaða (to hurt), both from Proto-Germanic *skaþōną (to injure). Cognate with English scathe.



skaith (present participle skaithin, past skaitht, past participle skaitht)

  1. to harm, injure, damage
  2. to wrong; be unfair to
  3. to penalise, serve as a penalty, fine or compensation

Further reading[edit]