Cassidese Glossary – Scoot

For some time now, some of my on-line friends have advised me to provide a version of CassidySlangScam without the invective aimed at Cassidy and his supporters. In response to that advice, I am working on providing a glossary of the terms in Cassidy’s ludicrous book How The Irish Invented Slang with a short, simple and business-like explanation of why Cassidy’s version is wrong.

The word scoot was first recorded in the 18th century. It means either to move quickly or to gush out or squirt. The latter meaning seems to be Scots and may be a different word. There is no agreement about its origin, though some sources link it to a Norse word cognate with English shoot or to words like scuttle. The Scottish Dialect Dictionary says:

Of Scand. orig., prob. from unmutated form *skúta of O.N. skjóta, to shoot, dart, and poss. of the same orig. as slang Eng. scoot, to run, rush away.

Cassidy links it to words found in Irish and in Scottish Gaelic such as scíord and sgiúird (variants of the same word). These may well be related to the word skoot or to the Scandinavian word it originally derives from but there is no reason to suppose that the Gaelic versions are the originals and that skoot derives from them.

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