"cast off," O.E. sceadan, scadan "to divide, separate," strong verb (pt. scead, pp. sceadan), from P.Gmc. *skaithanan (cf. O.S. skethan, O.Fris. sketha, M.Du. sceiden, Du. scheiden, O.H.G. sceidan, Ger. scheiden, Goth. skaidan), from *skaith "divide, split," probably related to PIE base *skei- "to cut, separate, divide, part, split" (cf. Skt. chid-, Gk. skhizein, L. scindere "to split;" Lith. skedzu "I make thin, separate, divide;" O.Ir. scian "knife;" Welsh chwydu "to break open"). In ref. to animals, "to lose hair, feathers, etc." recorded from 1510.