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

  • n. A rhythmic dance performed to reggae or ska music, characterized by bending forward, raising the knees, and extending the hands.
  • n. Disgusting or vulgar matter; filth.
  • n. One who is disgustingly foul or filthy and often considered sexually promiscuous. Used especially of a woman or girl.
  • intransitive v. To dance the skank.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Any substance considered particularly foul, unhygienic or unpleasant
  • n. A lewdly unattractive and disreputable person, often female, especially one with an air of tawdry promiscuity.
  • n. A dance performed to ska.
  • v. To dance the skank
  • n. The act of cheating a person through disloyal and selfish means with no shame to use deception in the process (most commonly to a known associate or friend).
  • n. Referring to having insight or recognising a process to potentially being greatly non favourable to the (victim/) first person's benefit or interest.
  • v. To cheat, especially a friend.

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

  • v. dance the skank
  • n. a rhythmic dance to reggae music performed by bending forward and extending the hands while bending the knees
  • n. any substance considered disgustingly foul or unpleasant


Of Jamaican origin.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Blend of skeevy and rank. (Wiktionary)
Blend of scold and brank. Middle English- meaning frolicsome and often lascivious conduct. (Wiktionary)
Jamaican origin (Wiktionary)
Slang word used in Northern England U.K (commonly used through the 1980s). (Wiktionary)


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  • "They sat on the cool concrete sidewalk and ate, sharing with their canine companions. Every train rider sported a skank, even the dogs."
    - Clay Duda, Young, Homeless and Enslaved by the Freedom of the Rails,, 29 June 2011.
    Note in box beside main text: Skank - Commonly referred to as a bandanna. A signature trait of train riders.

    August 25, 2011