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[skamp] /skæmp/
an unscrupulous and often mischievous person; rascal; rogue; scalawag.
a playful, mischievous, or naughty young person; upstart.
a grouper, Mycteroperca phenax, of Florida: so called from its habit of stealing bait.
verb (used with object)
to do or perform in a hasty or careless manner:
to scamp work.
Origin of scamp
obsolete Dutch
1775-85; obsolete scamp to travel about idly or for mischief, perhaps < obsolete Dutch schampen to be gone < Old French escamper to decamp
Related forms
scamper, noun
scampingly, adverb
scampish, adjective
scampishly, adverb
scampishness, noun
unscamped, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for scamp
  • The answer is related to two issues that correspond to the two halves of the journalistic soul, the scamp and the saint.
  • Large predatory species that are commonly found here include groupers such as scamp and snowy grouper, red snapper, and amberjack.
  • He is a fierce dramatic firebrand trying to be a frisky scamp.
  • By that time her engagement to the scamp has been announced, more in pique than anything else.
British Dictionary definitions for scamp


an idle mischievous person; rascal
a mischievous child
Derived Forms
scampish, adjective
Word Origin
C18: from scamp (vb) to be a highway robber, probably from Middle Dutch schampen to decamp, from Old French escamper, from es-ex-1 + -camper, from Latin campus field


a less common word for skimp
Derived Forms
scamper, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for scamp

1782, "highway robber," probably from dialectal verb scamp "to roam" (1753, perhaps from 16c.), shortened from scamper. Used affectionately in sense "rascal" since 1808.


"do in a hasty manner," 1837, perhaps from a Scandinavian source (cf. Old Norse skemma "to shorten, make shorter," from skammr "short; brief; lately"), or a blend of scant and skimp [Klein], or a back-formation from scamper. Related: Scamped; scamping.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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