One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
nounPlural scarves, Plural scarfs
A length or square of fabric worn around the neck or head.
- ‘The microphone stands were draped with flowing white scarves that swept the stage floor.’
- ‘Football scarves and shirts, cards and messages of condolence were also left by people wanting to pay their respects.’
- ‘There was a bright closet with many different styles of red dresses overflowing from it and five white angora scarves.’
- ‘After dinner, bundled up in scarves and hats we take the Lantern Tour of Stowe.’
- ‘The pashmina scarf he wants for his mother is not in stock at the government shops.’
- ‘The village was full of stern men in indigo robes, swathed in scarves against the cold and riding small donkeys.’
- ‘Lydie and Emily sat knitting new socks, scarves, and mittens for the children, for winter was only a few months away.’
- ‘Some of the protesters concealed their identity from security force cameras by covering their faces with scarves or hoods.’
- ‘Women wear dresses and scarves made from the printed cloth popular in East Africa.’
- ‘Many wore their faithful maroon scarves while some were draped in Jambo flags and others had their faces painted.’
- ‘McFadden then went on the road to assess market demand in Ireland for coloured hats and scarves.’
- ‘Most of the group were young men wearing bomber jackets and football scarves and bobble hats to cover up their shaved heads.’
- ‘They had dark scarves across their faces and wore dark sweatshirts with the hoods up.’
- ‘One or two of the soldiers even went as far as to remove their Alliance neck scarves.’
- ‘Her current work focuses on the controversy over Islamic head scarves in French public schools.’
- ‘Each of the girls, as well as Ethan, wore their thickest coats and warmest mittens, as well as scarves and hats and earmuffs.’
- ‘The cold also brought on another bout of shopping, namely for warmer hats, scarves, gloves and coats.’
- ‘Sweaty by the time I reached the top, I had to unknot my scarves and unzip my parka.’
- ‘The sight-impaired pensioner has busy needles knitting hats and scarves to send to the country's needy children.’
- ‘They are in evening dress, splashes of colour provided by the bright purple scarves the women are wearing.’
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).
nounPlural scarves, Plural scarfs
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.
- ‘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.’
- ‘The two arcs were joined at the Crown by a sophisticated scarf joint, which was secured by three large nuts and bolts.’
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.
verbscarfs[with object]North American
Eat or drink (something) hungrily or enthusiastically.‘he scarfed down the waffles’
- ‘‘This is really good, thanks Rachel,’ Danielle said as she began scarfing her eggs and bacon, then downing the orange juice.’
- ‘If you feel sluggish before hitting the softball field, scarf an energy-boosting bagel or banana.’
- ‘Morning at the girls apartment came with a hurried rush of alarm clocks going off, hair being dried, and granola bars being scarfed down.’
- ‘We sat there, the guys talking as Zach and I scarfed our food.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘The crew scarfed down the pies and loafs of bread.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘You crave steak because you need protein, scarf up sardines for the salt, and pig out on potatoes because they are energy-dense.’
- ‘Amber scarfed down her eggs and fumbled with her chopsticks as she tried to eat her rice.’
- ‘Luke sat down in his sleeping bag, scarfed the apple down, and laid down to sleep.’
- ‘She absently twirled noodles for about ten minutes as Dave scarfed his.’
- ‘The visual of kids scarfing down grilled-cheese sandwiches communicated the great taste of Kraft Singles, moms in focus groups agreed.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘Tony sat down and scarfed down his waffles, then he got up and grabbed his backpack.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘I also scarfed a plate of charcuterie which featured decent chorizo, a peppered salami and some sort of good cured pork loin.’
- ‘She felt sick to her stomach and instantly regretted scarfing down the chocolate chip muffin.’
1960s: variant of scoff.
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