from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. Informal Monotonous work or menial tasks that have to be done usually as part of a large complex job or project.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. tasks that are tedious and monotonous or trivial and menial, usually inherent in the operations of a larger project
From scut, worthless person, perhaps from scout2.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Combination of scut (a worthless person) and work (Wiktionary)