Her little Ladyship, eyeing me askance, answered, 'I can't come now—the dress-maker is waiting to fit on my frock.'
When John Kenyon entered his office, he thought the clerk looked at him askance.
They crowded away from the two well-dressed high-school girls, looking at them askance.
Claude, who was now growing embarrassed, had examined the girl, askance.
In more fashionable circles the mere possession of a pipe might be looked at askance.
The lanky Sucatash looked at him askance, catching the note of sentiment.
Lukynitch stood with his grey head bent on his breast, and stared at me askance in a strange sort of way.
"You speak of the castle as if you knew about it," said the landlady, eyeing her askance.
At first, indeed, his activity had been looked at askance at Innsbruck, as but another force making for disintegration.
Men pretending virtues as relentless as his own were often inclined to eye him askance.
1520s, "sideways, asquint," of obscure origin. OED has separate listings for askance and obsolete Middle English askance(s) and no indication of a connection, but Barnhart and others derive the newer word from the older one. The Middle English word, recorded early 14c. as ase quances and found later in Chaucer, meant "in such a way that; even as; as if;" and as an adverb "insincerely, deceptively." It has been analyzed as a compound of as and Old French quanses (pronounced "kanses") "how if," from Latin quam "how" + si "if."
The E[nglish] as is, accordingly, redundant, and merely added by way of partial explanation. The M.E. askances means "as if" in other passages, but here means, "as if it were," i.e. "possibly," "perhaps"; as said above. Sometimes the final s is dropped .... [Walter W. Skeat, glossary to Chaucer's "Man of Law's Tale," 1894]Also see discussion in Leo Spitzer, "Anglo-French Etymologies," Philological Quarterly 24.23 (1945), and see OED entry for askance (adv.) for discussion of the mysterious ask- word cluster in English. Other guesses about the origin of askance include Old French a escone, from past participle of a word for "hidden;" Italian a scancio "obliquely, slantingly;" or that it is a cognate of askew.