A kitten being carried by its scruff.



  • Someone with an untidy appearance.
  • Stubble, facial hair (on males).
  • Crust.
  • Scurf.
  • The loose skin at the back of the neck of some animals.
  • The back of the neck, nape; also scruff of the neck.


  • To lift or carry by the scruff.


Similar words


  • See scurf.
  • 1790, from earlier (1787) scuft, influenced by scruff. Related to North Frisian skuft ("back of the neck of a horse") and Dutch schoft ("withers (of a horse)"), from Proto-Germanic. Compare also Old Norse skopt ("hair of the head"), Gothic πƒπŒΊπŒΏπ†π„ ("hair of the head"), Middle High German schopf (German Schopf).

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