Definitions

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

  • n. Variant of skullduggery.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A devious device or trick.
  • n. Underhanded or unscrupulous behavior.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. See skulduddery.

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

  • n. verbal misrepresentation intended to take advantage of you in some way

Etymologies

1856, apparently an alteration of Scottish English sculdudrie ("adultery"), sculduddery “bawdry, obscenity”, a euphemism of uncertain origin (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • My cohort in skulduggery Jesse just (and when I say just I mean four or five days ago) posted a nice blurb on the strange and stupid phenomenon of using “gay” as an adjective to describe things other than a person who is a homosexual.

    that’s so. . . « paper fruit

  • A side story of skulduggery is more dramatic still, if potentially litigious: as Lahey tells it, a former distributor of Sullivan St breads hired former Sullivan St bakers to start his own bakery, opened suddenly with an extremely similar product line, and started making deliveries to Sullivan St customers with no notice of a change of vendor — initially in stockpiled bags with the Sullivan St name and logo, yet.

    Half a Loaf

  • Picasso's "Guernica," while the warthog's kin, the babirusa, gives new meaning to the word skulduggery: On occasion, one of its two pairs of curving tusks will grow up and around and pierce right into its skull.

    STLtoday.com Top News Headlines

  • More title skulduggery - when I wrote the high-fantasy duology that would become, in the United States, "The Hidden Queen" and "Changer of Days" - well - that book was originally written as ONE BOOK, and that one book's name was "Changer of Days".

    SF Novelists

  • Gounden said he and Radebe prided themselves on not being involved in any "skulduggery", and took the allegations made in the

    ANC Daily News Briefing

  • More title skulduggery - when I wrote the high-fantasy duology that would become, in the United States, “The Hidden Queen” and “Changer of Days” - well - that book was originally written as ONE BOOK, and that one book’s name was “Changer of Days”.

    Entitled at SF Novelists

  • But alleged "skulduggery" in the funeral business may be partly to blame for LifeArt's shaky grip on life.

    Latest News - Yahoo!7 News

  • Can they really be such slow learners that they haven't figured out how angry the voters anout that kind of skulduggery?

    Health Care BS

  • The vote has already seeb a damaging row, with the Government accused of "skulduggery" over the process to replace Michael Martin.

    Telegraph.co.uk: news business sport the Daily Telegraph newspaper Sunday Telegraph

  • This is the kind of skulduggery that we hope fervently will be quashed under the next presidential administration.

    AugustaChronicle.com: Top News and Blogs

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Comments

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  • "There was something about this that Christine wanted me to see, to...Of course. She wanted me to use my talent here. She suspected...skulduggery."-Dead as a Doornail, by Charlaine Harris

    May 19, 2011

  • "Here, here, what sort of skulduggery is going on in my woods?" roared the King, suddenly confronting Sebastian.

    - William Steig, Roland the Minstrel Pig

    September 29, 2008

  • Skulduggery has nothing to do with skulls or digging, but developed as an Americanism in the nineteenth century, apparently as a variation on Scottish skulduddery, meaning fornication or obscenity. The American adaptation softened the meaning to trickery or craftiness.

    (What's in a Word? by Robert Gorrell)

    August 5, 2008