Try Our Apps


Supposedly vs. Supposably


[skalp] /skælp/
the integument of the upper part of the head, usually including the associated subcutaneous structures.
a part of this integument with the accompanying hair, severed from the head of an enemy as a sign of victory, as by some North American Indians and others during the colonial and frontier periods in the U.S.
any token of victory.
the integument on the top of the head of an animal.
Informal. a small profit made in quick buying and selling.
verb (used with object)
to cut or tear the scalp from.
  1. to resell (tickets, merchandise, etc.) at higher than the official rates.
  2. to buy and sell (stocks) so as to make small quick profits.
to plane down the surfaces of (an ingot, billet, or slab).
verb (used without object)
Informal. to scalp tickets, stocks, or the like.
Origin of scalp
1250-1300; Middle English (north) (noun), perhaps < Old Norse skālpr sheath (hence, metaphorically a covering)
Related forms
scalper, noun
scalpless, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for scalp
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Jist open the box then, and if I don't take the scalp off him, call me a black man!

    Sheppard Lee, Vol. II (of 2) Robert Montgomery Bird
  • Is he a stone that goes to the bottom, or does the scalp burn his head?

    The Last of the Mohicans James Fenimore Cooper
  • Henry wasn't with the car, at that moment, but was hoofing it into Ash Fork from the hills, glad to have his scalp with him.

    Motor Matt's Mystery Stanley R. Matthews
  • Ice was applied to his scalp, and the life of his benefactor was saved.

  • To cleanse the head from lice, rub the scalp and saturate the hair with kerosene.

    Campward Ho! Unknown
British Dictionary definitions for scalp


(anatomy) the skin and subcutaneous tissue covering the top of the head
(among North American Indians) a part of this removed as a trophy from a slain enemy
a trophy or token signifying conquest
(hunting, mainly US) a piece of hide cut from the head of a victim as a trophy or as proof of killing in order to collect a bounty
(informal, mainly US) a small speculative profit taken in quick transactions
(Scot, dialect) a projection of bare rock from vegetation
verb (transitive)
to cut the scalp from
(informal, mainly US) to purchase and resell (securities) quickly so as to make several small profits
(informal) to buy (tickets) cheaply and resell at an inflated price
Derived Forms
scalper, noun
Word Origin
C13: probably from Scandinavian; compare Old Norse skalpr sheath, Middle Dutch schelpe, Danish skalp husk
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for scalp

mid-14c., "top of the head (including hair)," presumably from a Scandinavian source (though exact cognates are wanting) related to Old Norse skalli "a bald head," skalpr "sheath, scabbard,"from the source of scale (n.1). French scalpe, German, Danish, Swedish skalp are from English. Meaning "head skin and hair as proof of death or a victory trophy" is from c.1600.


"to cut off (someone's) scalp," 1670s, from scalp (n.), originally in reference to North American Indians. For ticket re-selling sense, see scalper. Related: Scalped; scalping. Cf. German skalpern, Danish skalpere, Swedish skalpera. French scalper is from Germanic. Similarity to Latin scalpere "to cut, carve" is accidental.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
scalp in Medicine

scalp (skālp)
The skin covering the top of the head.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source
Slang definitions & phrases for scalp



To sell tickets at a higher than normal or legal price (1883+)

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

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for scalp

Many English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for scalp

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for scalp