One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
(especially of a person in the armed services) shirk one's duty.‘I was just telling Hilary we saw him scrimshanking yesterday’
malinger, pretend to be ill, fake illness, feign illnessView synonyms
- ‘While their regiment marches back and forth across India, they spend their time boozing, brawling and scrimshanking.’
- ‘His step-mother accused him of loitering, of scrimshanking, of scornfully dishing up half-plates of food - more than he had earned, she sneered.’
Late 19th century: of unknown origin.
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