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big skate

See under skate2 .


[skeyt] /skeɪt/
noun, plural (especially collectively) skate (especially referring to two or more kinds or species) skates.
any of several rays of the genus Raja, usually having a pointed snout, as R. binoculata (big skate) inhabiting waters along the Pacific coast of the U.S., growing to a length of 8 feet (2.4 meters).
Origin of skate2
1300-50; Middle English scate < Old Norse skati Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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British Dictionary definitions for big-skate


the steel blade or runner of an ice skate
such a blade fitted with straps for fastening to a shoe
a current collector on an electric railway train that collects its current from a third rail Compare bow collector
get one's skates on, to hurry
verb (intransitive)
to glide swiftly on skates
to slide smoothly over a surface
skate on thin ice, to place oneself in a dangerous or delicate situation
Word Origin
C17: via Dutch from Old French éschasse stilt, probably of Germanic origin


noun (pl) skate, skates
any large ray of the family Rajidae, of temperate and tropical seas, having flat pectoral fins continuous with the head, two dorsal fins, a short spineless tail, and a long snout
Word Origin
C14: from Old Norse skata


(US, slang) a person; fellow
Word Origin
from Scottish and northern English dialect skate, a derogatory term of uncertain origin
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 big-skate



"type of flat, cartilaginous fish, a kind of ray," mid-14c., from a Scandinavian source, cf. Old Norse skata "skate," Danish skade, Faeroese skøta, of unknown origin.

"ice skate," 1660s, skeates "ice skates," from Dutch schaats (plural schaatsen), a singular mistaken in English for plural, from Middle Dutch schaetse. The word and the custom were brought to England after the Restoration by exiled followers of Charles II who had taken refuge in Holland.

The Dutch word is from Old North French escache "a stilt, trestle," related to Old French eschace "stilt" (French échasse), from Frankish *skakkja "stilt" or a similar Germanic source (cf. Frisian skatja "stilt"), perhaps literally "thing that shakes or moves fast" and related to root of Old English sceacan "to vibrate" (see shake (v.)). Or perhaps [Klein] the Dutch word is connected to Middle Low German schenke, Old English scanca "leg" (see shank). Sense alteration in Dutch from "stilt" to "skate" is not clearly traced. Sense in English extended to roller-skates by 1876. Meaning "an act of skating" is from 1853.


1690s, "to ice-skate," from skate (n.2). U.S. slang sense of "to get away with something" is attested from 1945. Related: Skated; skating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for big-skate



  1. An unattractive woman; a malodorous woman; skag
  2. A prostitute; hooker: How long would it take for them to find them f—— skanks (the hookers) again? (1970s+ Black)
  3. Copulation; coition; ass: how 'bout witnessing some skank (1980s+)
  4. A despicable person; grunge, sleazebag: Julie gets used and humiliated by the lens-wielding skank (1980s+)
  5. A slovenly style of dress, possibly imitative of disheveled heroin addicts: Some teenagers prefer a grungier, if equally tasteless, look known as ''skank'' (1990s+ Teenagers)


To do a sort of reggae dancing in which the body bends forward, the knees are raised, and the hands claw the air: They move in sympathetic response to the music, skankin' from side to side/ They mosh. They slam. They skank and thrash, too (1976+)

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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Idioms and Phrases with big-skate


In addition to the idiom beginning with
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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