May 11, 2016 by Stephen Bentley
Skulk: Word Wednesday Fun
Welcome once more to the #wordwednesdayfun series. Let’s get straight into it this week with first the Merriam-Webster definition of skulk.
intransitive verb \ˈskəlk\
Popularity: Bottom 50% of words
: to move or hide in a secret way especially because you are planning to do something bad
: to move in a stealthy or furtive manner <skulked into her sister’s room>
a : to hide or conceal something (as oneself) often out of cowardice or fear or with sinister intent
b chiefly British¹ : malinger
Examples of skulk in a sentence
A man was skulking around outside.
She skulked into her sister’s room.
Did You Know?
Here’s one for the word-puzzle lovers. Can you name three things that the word skulk has in common with all of these other words: booth, brink, cog, flit, give, kid, meek, scab, seem, skull and wing? If you noticed that all of the terms on that list have just one syllable, then you’ve got the first (easy) similarity, but the next two are likely to prove a little harder to guess. Do you give up? All of the words listed above are of Scandinavian origin and all were first recorded in English in the 13th century. As for “skulk,” its closest known Scandinavian relative is the Norwegian dialect word skulka, which means “to lie in wait” or “lurk.”
Origin of skulk
Middle English, of Scandinavian origin; akin to Norwegian dialect skulka to lie in wait, lurk
First Known Use: 13th century
Synonym Discussion of skulk
lurk, skulk, slink, sneak mean to behave so as to escape attention. lurk implies a lying in wait in a place of concealment and often suggests an evil intent <suspicious men lurking in alleyways>. skulk suggests more strongly cowardice or fear or sinister intent <something skulking in the shadows>. slink implies moving stealthily often merely to escape attention <slunk around the corner>. sneak may add an implication of entering or leaving a place or evading a difficulty by furtive or underhanded methods <sneaked out early>.
Definition of skulk
: one that skulks
: a group of foxes
I must include this Facebook plugin comment –
Amy Winters Galberth
My daughter came home from school with a “student of the week” questionnaire that was titled “Scholar of the Skulk”. Only knowing the definition as a verb and not a noun, I was really upset by the term. Her school is Fox Prairie. I still think it is an incredibly inappropriate term to use to refer to the kids, but at least understand it more in context. The teacher is often very incensitive/mean to the kids and I am quite sure the word was used as both the verb and noun as there are SO MANY other more positive things she can call the student of the week.
Like · Reply · Mar 2, 2016 3:43am
Oh dear! Glad she isn’t a mother to my kids 🙂
I decline to include the Urban Dictionary definition this week – it is not worthy of inclusion!