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[skou] /skaʊ/
any of various vessels having a flat-bottomed rectangular hull with sloping ends, built in various sizes with or without means of propulsion, as barges, punts, rowboats, or sailboats.
Eastern U.S. a barge carrying bulk material in an open hold.
an old or clumsy boat; hulk; tub.
verb (used with object)
to transport by scow.
Origin of scow
1660-70, Americanism; < Dutch schouw ferryboat Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for scow
Historical Examples
  • Young McKenzie and another man were sent to find the scow, but in vain.

  • The mass concrete was mixed and placed by the scow plant, shown by Fig. 84.

    Concrete Construction Halbert P. Gillette
  • At a few quick orders from Jones and the Don, the Mexicans and the ferry captains crew backed the scow away from the house-boat.

    The Motor Boys in Mexico Clarence Young
  • I saw the man jump out with a rope and try to snub the scow to a tree.

    The Trail of '98 Robert W. Service
  • This time he turned his face toward the scow inhabited by the Orientals.

  • There was a little window at one end of the scow, but it was too small to escape by.

    Ralph on the Engine Allen Chapman
  • This was the power plant, and, coupled to the front of it, was a second scow of like width but greater length.

    The Triumph of Virginia Dale John Francis, Jr.
  • Little by little, as the current caught it, the scow began to slip on faster and faster.

  • She undid the bar of the door that led to the stern of the scow, but did not dare to expose her person.

    The Deerslayer James Fenimore Cooper
  • He was certain that the scow would be dashed upon the rocks and wrecked.

British Dictionary definitions for scow


an unpowered barge used for freight; lighter
(esp in the midwestern US) a sailing yacht with a flat bottom, designed to plane
Word Origin
C18: via Dutch schouw from Low German schalde, related to Old Saxon skaldan to push (a boat) into the sea
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 scow

"large flat-bottomed boat," 1780, from Dutch schouw "a ferry boat, punt," from Middle Dutch scouwe, related to Old English scaldan, Old Saxon scaldan "to push (a boat) from shore."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for scow



A large truck (1940s+ Truckers)1


  1. To kill; murder: overshoot or undershoot and scrag some scared civilian (1930+)
  2. To destroy or severely damage; ruin: The beet sugar people try to scrag the cane sugar people (1835+)
  3. To do the sex act with or to; screw, scrog: the middle-American hobby of scragging the random housewife at any opportunity (1970s+)

[fr earlier slang, ''hang by the neck'']

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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