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See also: skänk and skånk



Etymology 1[edit]

Blend of skeevy +‎ rank.

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skank ‎(plural skanks)

  1. Any substance that is particularly foul, unhygienic or unpleasant.

Etymology 2[edit]

Blend of scold +‎ brank. Middle English, meaning frolicsome and often lascivious conduct.

This etymology is incomplete. You can help Wiktionary by elaborating on the origins of this term.


skank ‎(plural skanks)

  1. (pejorative, slang) A lewdly unattractive and disreputable person, often female, especially one with an air of tawdry promiscuity.
    • 1996, Jay Mohr as Bob Sugar, Jerry Maguire, written by Cameron Crowe, Culver City, Calif.: TriStar Pictures; distributed by Columbia TriStar Home Video, as published 1997, ISBN 978-0-8001-4174-5:
      It's also my job to take care of the skanks on the road that you bang.
    • 1997 June–July, Michael A. Gonzales, “Toni's secret: Miss Braxton lets it all hang out”, Vibe, volume 5, number 5, New York, N.Y.: Time Publishing Ventures; Intermedia Vibe Holdings, ISSN 1070-4701, page 92: 
      After a triumphant performance at this year's American Music Awards, Toni [Braxton] walked offstage backward. "It was a see-through dress," explains Singletary. "She felt like her booty was her business." "I wear provocative clothes because they make me feel sexy," Toni says without apology. "If an artist like Madonna is wearing her booty hanging out, she's considered a genius. But if a black person does it, we're considered skank whores or sluts."

Etymology 3[edit]

Jamaican origin


skank ‎(plural skanks)

  1. A dance performed to ska.


skank ‎(third-person singular simple present skanks, present participle skanking, simple past and past participle skanked)

  1. To dance the skank
    Come on, skank along, it's the skanking song.

Etymology 4[edit]

Slang word used in Northern England (commonly used through the 1980s).


skank ‎(plural skanks)

  1. The act of cheating a person.
    That's not a good deal; it's a skank.


skank ‎(third-person singular simple present skanks, present participle skanking, simple past and past participle skanked)

  1. (transitive) To cheat, especially a friend.
    He shortchanged a partner, leaving him feeling skanked.
Derived terms[edit]


Alternative forms[edit]


Cognate with Danish skank, English shank, used as a noun in Swedish since 1635. The noun is based on an older adjective (now obsolete) skank, skink (limping, lame on one leg).


skank c

  1. a leg (human or animal)
    rör på skankarna!
    move your legs! (walk on, keep moving)


Related terms[edit]