Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A stubby erect tail, as that of a hare, rabbit, or deer.
  • n. Informal Routine or tedious work often viewed as menial.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A short, erect tail, as of a hare or rabbit
  • n. rump, pudenda, vulva
  • n. A slut; whore; hussy
  • v. To scamper off
  • n. A contemptible person.
  • n. Distasteful work; drudgery.
  • n. Some menial, common unfinished task left for medical students, or some clinically useful training.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The tail of a hare, or of a deer, or other animal whose tail is short, esp. when carried erect; hence, sometimes, the animal itself.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Short, as a garment, etc.
  • n. A short tail, as that of the rabbit or deer.
  • n. In heraldry, the tail, as of a cony: used only when the tail is of a different tincture from the rest.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a short erect tail

Etymologies

Middle English, hare.
Short for scutwork.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Old Norse skutr ("stern"). (Wiktionary)
Probably an alteration of scout (obsolete sense), itself from Middle English (Wiktionary)
From Middle English shoute, scoute, skoute, shute, schuit (=modern Dutch), scut - "flat-bottomed boat, barge; the master of a shoute; also, a sailor on a shoute." (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • MSM may only be afraid of that messy little thing called scut work.

    Firedoglake » The Lieberman Problem

  • The tail of the hare is called the scut, and that of the dog is sometimes called the stern; but this last term, I believe, only relates to dogs used in hunting.

    The Lady's Country Companion: or, How to Enjoy a Country Life Rationally

  • [1] I can find no authority for the old frontiersman's use of the word but in a certain Elizabethan dramatist; and as he uses the word "scut" for the bobtail of a fleeing rabbit or sheep, perhaps the meanings of the word as used are identical.

    The Freebooters of the Wilderness

  • The outlook for Democrats may not be as dire as in 1994 because the biggest advantage for the Democrats so far is the Republican Party under the clownish incompetent Michael Steele, who can't organize himself let alone the party faithful who would raise money, man phones, do the kind of scut work to get their vote out.

    The Full Feed from HuffingtonPost.com

  • She was always in some kind of scut jub and would be best described at 20, as a wholesome country girl with a heart of gold.

    Oswald Bastable's Ranting

  • a kind of scut, as at any rate a small representative of it.

    On the Parts of Animals

  • In my newspaper years, I prepared my share of advance profiles of public figures, and I know the scut work that goes into sifting through a decades-long career.

    The Story Behind the Story

  • Anyone who speaks as if GA is a homogenous mass is either poorly informed or grinding an axe, and anyone who claims the FAA wants to “destroy” GA is doing scut work for Ed Bolen, President of NBAA, the corporate operator lobby group that finds it convenient to hide behind the skirts of ultralights and hobbyists. bdbd Says:

    Matthew Yglesias » Runway Pricing

  • Anyone else think he might be stuck with permanent scut duty?

    Mega Buzz: Who's in Trouble on Grey's? Plus: Old Flames Hit CSI: NY, Vampire Diaries

  • After all, those same privileges may someday await them when they are chef, and the chance to receive your plate of lentils before anyone else seems like fair reward for all those years of scut work.

    The Sorcerer’s Apprentices

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Comments

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  • The minister was ready to burst with laughing, to see me so eager after the scut.

    - Lesage, The Adventures of Gil Blas of Santillane, tr. Smollett, bk 8 ch. 9

    October 7, 2008

  • "'Look at that scut, Foley, sneaking into Johnny Desmond's,' he said as though to himself."
    - Frank O'Connor, 'The Miser'.

    September 6, 2008

  • He sped off towards Conway's corner. God speed scut.
    Joyce, Ulysses, 5

    December 31, 2006