from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A Middle English form of shift.


Sorry, no etymologies found.



Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • my snow list has skifter of snow

    spotted in the comments section of

    The Scots will have to update their 'words for snow list'

    February 25, 2016

  • Experience has made me leery of commenting on American regionalisms because some people can get quite choleric about a fondness for one's native idiom. But I lived many years in Michigan, an inoffensive state, where they used the term "skiff" for this meteorological phenomenon. My neighbors were amused at my East Coast ignorance of the term. There is something about the word in a Chigago newpaper:

    The origin is not clear, but some think it came from the Scottish verb "skiff," which means to lightly move across a surface barely touching it, as perhaps a "skiff" of snow barely covers the ground. The term appears to be colloquial, used mainly in northern parts of the country and in Canada to describe a minor rainfall or snowfall or a light breeze. The Oxford English Dictionary defines a skiff as "a slight gust of wind or shower of rain, etc. Also, a light flurry or cover of snow."

    February 25, 2016

  • "With the skift of snow, temperatures on Thursday are expected to hold in the low 40s."


    February 25, 2016

  • skift - (a) A share, portion; lot, fate; (b) an effort, attempt, a try

    skift (v) - (a) To divide or share out something; distribute, divide up; also, be divided; ~ in sonder, disperse (a group of people), scatter; ~ me even, give me my fair share; even skifted, evenly matched in number, in equal strength; (b) to arrange, ordain; arrange, ordain, cause to occur; also, rule (a country), manage (a horse); also, protect (sb.), save; be skifted of, evade, be rid of.

    From OE sciftan.

    October 29, 2011