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Etymology 1Edit

From Old French escamper (to run away, to make one's escape).


scamp (plural scamps)

  1. A rascal, swindler, or rogue; a ne'er-do-well.
    Synonyms: swindler, rogue; see also Thesaurus:troublemaker
  2. A mischievous person, especially a playful, impish youngster.
    My nephew is a little scamp who likes to leave lighted firecrackers under the lawnchairs of his dozing elders.
    While walking home from the bar, he was set upon by a bunch of scamps who stole his hat.

Etymology 2Edit

Probably Icelandic skamta (to dole out, to stint).


scamp (third-person singular simple present scamps, present participle scamping, simple past and past participle scamped)

  1. (dated) To skimp; to do something in a skimpy or slipshod fashion.
    • 1884, Samuel Smiles, Men of Invention and Industry
      His work was always first-rate. There was no scamping about it. Everything that he did was thoroughly good and honest.
    • 1928, Lawrence R. Bourne, chapter 3, in Well Tackled![1]:
      “They know our boats will stand up to their work,” said Willison, “and that counts for a good deal. A low estimate from us doesn't mean scamped work, but just for that we want to keep the yard busy over a slack time.”