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[skahrf] /skɑrf/
verb (used with object), verb (used without object), Slang.
to eat, especially voraciously (often followed by down or up):
to scarf down junk food.
1955-60, Americanism; variant of scoff2, with r inserted probably through r-dialect speakers' mistaking the underlying vowel as an r-less ar Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for scarf down


noun (pl) scarves (skɑːvz), scarfs
a rectangular, triangular, or long narrow piece of cloth worn around the head, neck, or shoulders for warmth or decoration
verb (transitive) (rare)
to wrap with or as if with a scarf
to use as or in the manner of a scarf
Word Origin
C16: of uncertain origin; compare Old Norman French escarpe, Medieval Latin scrippum pilgrim's pack; see scrip²


noun (pl) scarfs
Also called scarf joint, scarfed joint. a lapped joint between two pieces of timber made by notching or grooving the ends and strapping, bolting, or gluing the two pieces together
the end of a piece of timber shaped to form such a joint
(NZ) a wedge-shaped cut made in a tree before felling, to determine the direction of the fall
(whaling) an incision made along a whale's body before stripping off the blubber
verb (transitive)
to join (two pieces of timber) by means of a scarf
to make a scarf on (a piece of timber)
to cut a scarf in (a whale)
Word Origin
C14: probably from Scandinavian; compare Norwegian skarv, Swedish skarf, Low German, Dutch scherfscarf1
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 scarf down
"strip of cloth," 1555, "a band worn across the body or over the shoulders," probably from O.N.Fr. escarpe "sash, sling," which probably is identical with O.Fr. escherpe "pilgrim's purse suspended from the neck," perhaps from Frank. *skirpja, from a Gmc. source (cf. O.N. skreppa "small bag, wallet, satchel"), or from M.L. scirpa "little bag woven of rushes," from L. scirpus "rush, bulrush," of unknown origin. As a cold-weather covering for the neck, first recorded 1844. Plural form scarfs began to yield to scarves early 18c., on model of half/halves, etc.
"connecting joint," 1276, probably from O.N. skarfr "nail for fastening a joint." A general North Sea Gmc. ship-building word (cf. Du. scherf, Swed. skarf, Norw. skarv), the exact relationship of all these is unclear. Also borrowed into Romanic (cf. Fr. écart, Sp. escarba); perhaps ult. from P.Gmc. *skerf-, *skarf- (cf. O.E. sceorfan "to gnaw, bite").
"eat hastily," 1960, U.S. teen slang, originally a noun meaning "food, meal" (1932), perhaps imitative, or from scoff (attested in a similar sense from 1846). Or perhaps from a dial. survival of O.E. sceorfan "to gnaw, bite" (see scarf (2)); a similar word is found in a S.African context in the 1600s.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for scarf down



Food; a meal; chow, scoff (1930s+ Teenagers fr black)

  1. (also scarf down or scarf up) To eat or drink, esp voraciously; consume: puffing on his morning joint, eating cereal, and scarfing up a beer/ People scarf up food after truck overturns/ scarfed down Milky Ways flambe (1950+)
  2. To do cunnilingus: Scarf her a few times: eat her box, in other words (1960s+)

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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