A Conversation for English Slang


Post 1


.. that's another one - Skive - Whenever I talk to someone who is from elsewhere I always have to explain it. Which is tricky, as it's quite hard to describe without using the word skive in your definition.


Post 2


One of the finest cobblers (shoe repairers) and certainly
one of the most helpful men I have ever known, Bernard de Boers
of Egham (Surrey), would use "skive" as a techical term
describing a part of his work. If I understood him correctly,
it referred to the action of thinning a piece of leather
("skiving") by the use of a sharp safety-razor-like implement ("skive").


Post 3


Skive, in Scotland, its to avoid working, sort of, like it was said, kind of difficult to explain.


Post 4


Skive is also means 'to avoid working' here in Newcastle too. Is it a Northern thing, maybe?


Post 5

Cheerful Dragon

The Concise OED gives one meaning of to skive as 'slice or pare (hides, leather, etc', which certainly tallies with Chaa's cobbler friend. Other meanings are 'a. evade a duty, shirk', 'b. (often followed by off) avoid work by absenting oneself, play truant'. It makes no reference to it being a more Northern word, and I've heard it used in the Midlands where I grew up.

The OED also lists skive as a noun meaning an instance of shirking or an easy option. I must admit I've never heard it used that way.

The only word the Concise OED gives as an origin is an Old Norse word skifa meaning slice. The implication is that skiving in the slang sense somehow derives from cutting something finely, but it gives no idea how. World Wide Words has other suggestions, but this isn't conclusive: http://www.worldwidewords.org/qa/qa-ski1.htm


Post 6

Lanzababy - Guide Editor

Oh, well I come from The Potteries, and I didnt' know this wasn't a commonly used word. I thought everyone said ' skived off school', as in bunked off, (played truant?)

Also, if something was too easy, it could be said to be 'a bit of a skive' as in the OED definition. smiley - smiley

Skiving is where you stay home from work with a fake illness as well.

All in all its a well used phrase here and I thought elsewhere too.


Post 7


Skive = Cut
Skive = to play truant...

A link to "cutting class"?

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