BEING AN EVOCATIVE WORD, RECOVERED FROM ARAB DESERTS BY A MAN OF ADVENTURESOME RENOWN, ABLE TO UNDERCUT MEN WITH A SINGLE STROKE!
v. — to shirk duty
fm. obscure origins, though evidently military slang to begin with. Similarly obscure is scrimshaw, which means carvings and handicrafts created by sailors at sea. (That’s right—today’s word is a twofer.)
first published. 1890
inspiration. The Oxford English Dictionary
I was furious with him…Gasim, a gap-toothed, grumbling fellow, scrimshank in all our marches, bad-tempered, suspicious, brutal.”
—T.E. Lawrence, Seven Pillars of Wisdom, 1926