Skin to Slave

Skin To sell the skin before you have caught the bear. To count of your chickens before they are hatched. In the South Sea mania (1720), dealing in bear-skins was a great stock-jobbing item, and thousands of skins were sold as mere time bargains. Shakespeare alludes to a similar practice:-

“The man that once did sell the lion's skin
While the beast lived, was killed with hunting him.” Henry V., iv. 3.

Skin a Flint To be very exacting in making a bargain. The French say, “Tondre sur un oeuf. ” The Latin, lana caprina (goat's wool), means something as worthless as the skin of a flint or fleece of an eggshell. (See Skinflint .)

Skin of his Teeth I am escaped with the skin of my teeth (Job xix. 20). Just escaped, and that is all- having lost everything.

Skinfaxi, in Scandinavian mythology, is the “shining horse which draws Day-light over the earth.” (See Horse .)

Skinflint A pinch-farthing; a niggard. In the French, “pince-maille.” Maille is an old copper coin.

Skinners A predatory band in the American Revolutionary War which roamed over the neutral ground robbing and fleecing those who refused to take the oath of fidelity. (See Ecorcheurs .)

Skirt To sit upon one's skirt. To insult, or seek occasion of quarrel. Tarlton, the clown, told his audience the reason why he wore a jacket was that “no one might sit upon his skirt.” Sitting on one's skirt is, like stamping on one's coat in Ireland, a fruitful source of quarrels, often provoked.

“Crosse me not, Liza, nether be so perte,
For if thou dost, I'll sit upon thy skirte.”
The Abortive of an Idle Howre (1620).
(Quoted by Halliwell: Archaic Words.)

Skogan (Henry). A poet in the reign of Henry IV. Justice Shallow says he saw Sir John Falstaff, when he was a boy, “break Skogan's head at the court gate, when he [Sir John] was a crack [child] not thus high.” (2 Henry IV., 2.)

“Scogan? What was he?
Oh, a fine gentleman, and a master of arts
Of Henry the Fourth's times, that made disguises
For the king's sons, and writ in ballad royal
Daintily well.”
Ben Jonson: The Fortunate Isles (1626).
   John Skogan. The favourite buffoon of the court of King Edward IV. Scogin's Jests were published by Andrew Borde, a physician, in the reign of Henry VIII.

Skopts, Skopti, or White Doves, A Russian religious sect who, taking Matt. xix. 12 and Luke xxiii. 29 as the bases of their creed, are all eunuchs, and the women are mutilated in a most barbarous manner, as they deem it a Christian grace not to be able to bear children. They are vegetarians and total abstainers. Origen was a Skopt in everything but name.

“Look at the Mormons, the Skopts, the Shakers, the Howling Dervishes, the Theosophists, and the Fakirs.”- With the Immortals vol. ii. p. 50.

Skull You shall quaff beer out of the skulls of your enemies. (Scandinavian.) Skull means a cup or dish; hence a person who washes up cups and dishes is called a scullery-maid. (Scotch, skoll, a bowl; French, écuelle; Danish, skaal, a drinking-vessel; German, schale; our shell.)

Skurry (A). A scratch race, or race without restrictions.
   Hurry-skurry. A confused bustle through lack of time; in a confused bustle. A reduplicated or ricochet word.

Sky slang for pocket. Explained under the word Chivy (q.v.).

  By PanEris using Melati.

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