From Middle English [Term?], from Old English sceorf, from Proto-Germanic *skurf- (“to gnaw”), from Proto-Indo-European *(s)ker- (“to cut”). Cognate with Dutch schurft, German Schorf, Danish skurv, Swedish skorv.
scurf (countable and uncountable, plural scurfs)
- A skin disease.
- The flakes of skin that fall off as a result of a skin disease.
- Synonym: dandruff
- Any crust-like formations on the skin, or in general.
- 1667, John Milton, “Book I”, in Paradise Lost. […], London: […] [Samuel Simmons], […], →OCLC; republished as Paradise Lost in Ten Books: […], London: Basil Montagu Pickering […], 1873, →OCLC, lines 670–673:
- There ſtood a Hill not far whoſe frieſly top / Belch'd fire and rowling ſmoak; the reſt entire / Shon with a gloſſie ſcurff, undoubted ſign / That in his womb was hid metallic Ore,
- (figuratively) The foul remains of anything adherent.
- Synonym: scum
- 1697, Virgil, “The Sixth Book of the Æneis”, in John Dryden, transl., The Works of Virgil: Containing His Pastorals, Georgics, and Æneis. […], London: […] Jacob Tonson, […], →OCLC, line 1011, page 392:
- The Scurf is worn away, of each committed Crime
- (botany) Minute membranous scales on the surface of some leaves, as in the goosefoot.
- (obsolete, slang) A low, mean person.
flakes of skin
- (low, mean person): 1873, John Camden Hotten, The Slang Dictionary
scurf (plural scurfs)
- A grey bull trout (Salvelinus confluentus).
- “scurf”, in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, Springfield, Mass.: G. & C. Merriam, 1913, →OCLC.