See also: skam

EnglishEdit

EtymologyEdit

US carnival slang. Possibly from scamp (swindler, cheater) or Irish cam (crooked). Also possibly from Danish skam.

The word "scam" became common use among the US "drug culture" in early 1980 after Operation ABSCAM, an FBI sting operation directed at public officials, became public.

PronunciationEdit

  • enPR: skăm, IPA(key): /skæm/
    • (file)
  • Rhymes: -æm

NounEdit

 
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scam (plural scams)

  1. A fraudulent deal.
    That marketing scheme looks like a scam to me.
  2. Something that is promoted using scams.
    That new diet burger is a scam.

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VerbEdit

scam (third-person singular simple present scams, present participle scamming, simple past and past participle scammed)

  1. (transitive) To defraud or embezzle.
    They tried to scam her out of her savings.

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Middle IrishEdit

EtymologyEdit

Attested only in the plural form scaim. From Proto-Celtic *skamos. Cognate with Welsh ysgafn ("light") and Welsh ysgyfaint ("(pair of) lungs"), Breton skañv, Cornish skav.

NounEdit

scam

  1. lung

ReferencesEdit

  • Matasović, R. (2009). Etymological Dictionary of Proto-Celtic, p.339. Brill: Boston.