Origin of "Skedaddle."

            A correspondent says: The word "skedaddle" is not derived from the Greek verb Skedao, to scatter, as has been recently asserted by certain learned etymologists. The root of “Skedaddle" is found in the Gaelic, Celtic, and the ancient British or Welsh language. In Gaelic, “Sgiotadh"is the present participle from the verb “Sgiot," and signifies “scattering," the act of scattering. In the Irish, which is, properly speaking, the Gaelic, “Sgadad" signifies "flight," and “Uile," or “Ol," all, or entirely —“all flight." In the Welsh we have “Ysgudao," or "Ysgudaw," to scud about. So, also, in the Scandinavian languages ; in the Swedish we have “Skuddo," to throw or put out; “Sceotan," Saxon, to flee or haste away; in a general sense, to be driven, or to flee with haste. “Skedaddle" might be derived more naturally from "Skud," or “Scud," and “Daddle," than from the Greek “Skedao."

Skedaddle To run away, to be scattered in rout. The Scotch apply the word to the milk spilt over the pail in carrying it. During the late American war, the New York papers said the Southern forces were “skedaddled” by the Federals. (Saxon, scedan, to pour out; Chaldee, scheda; Greek, skeda'o, to scatter.) — The Dictionary of Phrase and Fable by E. Cobham Brewer; 1894

Hit Counter visitors since 07/05/2004
Page updated 08/12/2004.