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.
to resell (tickets, merchandise, etc.) at higher than the official rates.
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.

1250–1300; Middle English (north) (noun), perhaps < Old Norse skālpr sheath (hence, metaphorically a covering)

scalper, noun
scalpless, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To scalper
World English Dictionary
scalp (skælp)
1.  anatomy the skin and subcutaneous tissue covering the top of the head
2.  (among North American Indians) a part of this removed as a trophy from a slain enemy
3.  a trophy or token signifying conquest
4.  chiefly (US) hunting 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
5.  informal chiefly (US) a small speculative profit taken in quick transactions
6.  dialect (Scot) a projection of bare rock from vegetation
7.  to cut the scalp from
8.  informal chiefly (US) to purchase and resell (securities) quickly so as to make several small profits
9.  informal to buy (tickets) cheaply and resell at an inflated price
[C13: probably from Scandinavian; compare Old Norse skalpr sheath, Middle Dutch schelpe, Danish skalp husk]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
Word Origin & History

c.1300, presumably from a Scand. source (though exact cognates are wanting) related to O.N. skalli "bald head," skalpr "sheath," from the source of scale (n.2). Fr. scalpe, Ger., Swed. skalp are from English. The verb meaning "to cut off (someone's) scalp" is recorded from
1676, originally in ref. to N.Amer. Indians.

"person who re-sells tickets at unauthorized prices for a profit," 1869, Amer.Eng., originally of the unused portions of long-distance railroad tickets. Probably from the verbal sense of scalp (q.v.).; perhaps the connecting sense is the bounty offered for scalps of certain
destructive animals (attested in New England from 1703) and sometimes Indians (i.e., having only part of something, but still getting paid). Some, though, see a connection rather to scalpel, the surgical instrument.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

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
Related Words
Copyright © 2014, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature