One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A length or square of fabric worn around the neck or head.
- ‘The village was full of stern men in indigo robes, swathed in scarves against the cold and riding small donkeys.’
- ‘McFadden then went on the road to assess market demand in Ireland for coloured hats and scarves.’
- ‘Many wore their faithful maroon scarves while some were draped in Jambo flags and others had their faces painted.’
- ‘The pashmina scarf he wants for his mother is not in stock at the government shops.’
- ‘Lydie and Emily sat knitting new socks, scarves, and mittens for the children, for winter was only a few months away.’
- ‘They had dark scarves across their faces and wore dark sweatshirts with the hoods up.’
- ‘Women wear dresses and scarves made from the printed cloth popular in East Africa.’
- ‘They are in evening dress, splashes of colour provided by the bright purple scarves the women are wearing.’
- ‘Sweaty by the time I reached the top, I had to unknot my scarves and unzip my parka.’
- ‘Football scarves and shirts, cards and messages of condolence were also left by people wanting to pay their respects.’
- ‘Most of the group were young men wearing bomber jackets and football scarves and bobble hats to cover up their shaved heads.’
- ‘There was a bright closet with many different styles of red dresses overflowing from it and five white angora scarves.’
- ‘Some of the protesters concealed their identity from security force cameras by covering their faces with scarves or hoods.’
- ‘One or two of the soldiers even went as far as to remove their Alliance neck scarves.’
- ‘The microphone stands were draped with flowing white scarves that swept the stage floor.’
- ‘After dinner, bundled up in scarves and hats we take the Lantern Tour of Stowe.’
- ‘Each of the girls, as well as Ethan, wore their thickest coats and warmest mittens, as well as scarves and hats and earmuffs.’
- ‘Her current work focuses on the controversy over Islamic head scarves in French public schools.’
- ‘The cold also brought on another bout of shopping, namely for warmer hats, scarves, gloves and coats.’
- ‘The sight-impaired pensioner has busy needles knitting hats and scarves to send to the country's needy children.’
Mid 16th century (in the sense ‘sash (around the waist or over the shoulder)’): probably based on Old Northern French escarpe, probably identical with Old French escharpe ‘pilgrim's scrip’.
1Join the ends of (two pieces of timber or metal) by beveling or notching them so that they fit over or into each other.
2Make an incision in the blubber of (a whale)
1also scarf jointA joint connecting two pieces of timber or metal in which the ends are beveled or notched so that they fit over or into each other.
- ‘The two arcs were joined at the Crown by a sophisticated scarf joint, which was secured by three large nuts and bolts.’
- ‘It could be argued that the great array of different scarf joints encountered in timber-framed buildings should make the author's point about complexity.’
2An incision made in the blubber of a whale.
Middle English (as a noun): probably via Old French from Old Norse. The verb dates from the early 17th century.
verb[WITH OBJECT]North American
Eat or drink (something) hungrily or enthusiastically.‘he scarfed down the waffles’
- ‘You crave steak because you need protein, scarf up sardines for the salt, and pig out on potatoes because they are energy-dense.’
- ‘Everyone else was already up, and scarfing down the breakfast that Kay had prepared.’
- ‘Tossing the salami onto the ground, the man held back a satisfied snicker as the animal darted towards the meat, scarfing it up quickly.’
- ‘The crew scarfed down the pies and loafs of bread.’
- ‘If you've missed a workout or scarfed down an entire pizza, think about what led you to do this and what it would take to stop you from doing so next time.’
- ‘I scrambled to get in the shower, towel dried my hair, scarfed down some breakfast, found some clothes on the floor that smelled clean, and ran out the door.’
- ‘The visual of kids scarfing down grilled-cheese sandwiches communicated the great taste of Kraft Singles, moms in focus groups agreed.’
- ‘‘This is really good, thanks Rachel,’ Danielle said as she began scarfing her eggs and bacon, then downing the orange juice.’
- ‘I'm giving a talk to the local section of the American Chemical Society, so I'll be off scarfing up a free meal and enlightening whoever shows up.’
- ‘She absently twirled noodles for about ten minutes as Dave scarfed his.’
- ‘She felt sick to her stomach and instantly regretted scarfing down the chocolate chip muffin.’
- ‘Seventy-five miles and 6.5 hours from the start and we are scarfing some hot food and sucking down cold beers, legs a bit sore but the soul quenched.’
- ‘Amber scarfed down her eggs and fumbled with her chopsticks as she tried to eat her rice.’
- ‘We sat there, the guys talking as Zach and I scarfed our food.’
- ‘Having made up my mind, I quickly scarfed down a piece of pizza, took a deep breath, and headed to the table where he was sitting.’
- ‘If you feel sluggish before hitting the softball field, scarf an energy-boosting bagel or banana.’
- ‘Luke sat down in his sleeping bag, scarfed the apple down, and laid down to sleep.’
- ‘Tony sat down and scarfed down his waffles, then he got up and grabbed his backpack.’
- ‘I also scarfed a plate of charcuterie which featured decent chorizo, a peppered salami and some sort of good cured pork loin.’
- ‘Morning at the girls apartment came with a hurried rush of alarm clocks going off, hair being dried, and granola bars being scarfed down.’
1960s: variant of scoff.
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