Word Origin & History
"nape of the neck," 1790, altered (by influence of scruff "crust") from scuft (1787), probably related to N.Fris. skuft "back of the neck of a horse" and Du. schoft "withers of a horse," from a common Gmc. source (cf. O.N. skopt "hair of the head," Goth. skuft, M.H.G. schopf, Ger. Schopf).