scarf up


3 [skahrf]
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.
Cite This Source Link To scarf up
World English Dictionary
scarf1 (skɑːf)
n , pl scarves, scarfs
1.  a rectangular, triangular, or long narrow piece of cloth worn around the head, neck, or shoulders for warmth or decoration
2.  to wrap with or as if with a scarf
3.  to use as or in the manner of a scarf
[C16: of uncertain origin; compare Old Norman French escarpe, Medieval Latin scrippum pilgrim's pack; see scrip²]

scarf2 (skɑːf)
n , pl scarfs
1.  scarf joint, Also called: 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
2.  the end of a piece of timber shaped to form such a joint
3.  (NZ) a wedge-shaped cut made in a tree before felling, to determine the direction of the fall
4.  whaling an incision made along a whale's body before stripping off the blubber
5.  to join (two pieces of timber) by means of a scarf
6.  to make a scarf on (a piece of timber)
7.  to cut a scarf in (a whale)
[C14: probably from Scandinavian; compare Norwegian skarv, Swedish skarf, Low German, Dutch scherfscarf1]

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

"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
Cite This Source
Copyright © 2014, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature