Definition of scrimshank in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˈskrɪmʃaŋk/


[no object] British informal
(Especially of a person in the armed services) shirk one’s duty: I was just telling Hilary we saw him scrimshanking yesterday
More example sentences
  • His step-mother accused him of loitering, of scrimshanking, of scornfully dishing up half-plates of food - more than he had earned, she sneered.
  • While their regiment marches back and forth across India, they spend their time boozing, brawling and scrimshanking.



Pronunciation: /ˈskrɪmʃaŋkə/
Example sentences
  • ‘He was a real skiver and scrimshanker, saved by the love of a wonderful woman,’ he said.
  • I’d campaign to do that, but it sounds like hard work, and I’m a bit of a scrimshanker, a mere ersatz of a campaigner.
  • If it is necessary to wage wars, the world's strongest nation needs a man with abilities, not a scrimshanker with an IQ of 100 meters farm track.


Late 19th century: of unknown origin.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: scrim|shank

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.