One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
An annual tax formerly paid in England, principally before the Reformation, to the papal see at Rome; = Peter's penny. Compare Rome penny. Now historical.
Old English; earliest use found in Laws: Romscot. In some forms from Rome + Old English gescot payment. In some forms and some forms probably partly shortened from some forms and partly from Rome + shot; in later use in some forms probably partly remodelled after scot, partly remodelled after forms in Latin and in Scandinavian languages, and partly a revival (especially by historians, from the written record) of Old English or early Middle English forms.
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