skittishness

skittish

[skit-ish]
adjective
1.
apt to start or shy: a skittish horse.
2.
restlessly or excessively lively: a skittish mood.
3.
fickle; uncertain.
4.
shy; coy.

Origin:
1375–1425; late Middle English, perhaps derivative of the Scand source of skite1; see -ish1

skittishly, adverb
skittishness, noun
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skittish (ˈskɪtɪʃ)
 
adj
1.  playful, lively, or frivolous
2.  difficult to handle or predict
3.  rare coy
 
[C15: probably of Scandinavian origin; compare Old Norse skjōta to shoot; see -ish]
 
'skittishly
 
adv
 
'skittishness
 
n

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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

skittish
c.1412, "very lively, frivolous," perhaps from Scand. base *skyt- (stem of O.N. skjuta "to shoot"), from PIE base *skeud- "to shoot, to chase, to throw, to project" (see shoot (v.)). Sense of "apt to run" first recorded about 1510, of horses.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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