Definition of scarper in English:



[NO OBJECT]British
  • Run away.

    ‘they left the stuff where it was and scarpered’
    • ‘Once the guy had found out the truth, more often than not, he'd scarper.’
    • ‘A couple today told of their fury that the teen who ploughed a stolen 4x4 through their front garden wall and then scarpered was only cautioned by police.’
    • ‘By the time the police get there, they've scarpered and nothing gets done.’
    • ‘When he warned her that he had called the police she soon scarpered.’
    • ‘Black cats have been known to scarper at my sight.’
    • ‘‘They scarper when the police come, but when they go, they're back again,’ he said.’
    • ‘The inmates mingle with the townspeople and pilgrims and when Fay refuses to identify them so they can be locked up again, she has to scarper to avoid arrest.’
    • ‘The bookshop man told him it would cost around £20,000, so Daniel scarpered.’
    • ‘On the way, they'd been attacked by brigands again, but they'd scarpered as soon as they realised the team was capable of offering armed resistance.’
    • ‘He actually lay in wait for burglars and shot them as a deliberate act, even though they were about to scarper.’
    • ‘‘I can't do this,’ he said before scarpering.’
    • ‘When Harry saw her bearing down on him with an intent look he quickly scarpered and spent the rest of the evening hiding from her.’
    • ‘After establishing a history of paying bills he sought credit facilities before scarpering with the loot, leaving banks chasing a ghost.’
    • ‘When the baby did arrive, the father scarpered for good.’
    • ‘By grief he does not mean what grief father caused him by scarpering, but the grief Davis might cause turning up.’
    • ‘It wasn't noble, but I scarpered double-quick.’
    • ‘The rat, who, arguably, has been the cause of near tragedy, scarpers.’
    • ‘He picks up his Kroger bag full of second-story work paraphernalia and scarpers.’
    • ‘And since the party starts at 7pm, I reckon I can scarper shortly after 10 to get to the pub for last orders.’
    • ‘Unfortunately, those who did return found the locals severely hostile and scarpered quickly.’


Mid 19th century: probably from Italian scappare to escape influenced by rhyming slang Scapa Flow go.