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1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Scamp

SCAMP, an idle, worthless rascal; in earlier (18th cent.) usage especially applied as a cant term for a highway robber, a foot-pad, later of one who incurs debts and decamps without paying them. The word appears to be derived from a shortened form of “scamper,” to run away, decamp, to move quickly or nimbly; which is generally taken to be a military slang word adapted from Dutch schampen, to escape; O. Fr. escamper; Ital. scampare; Lat. ex, out of, campus, field of battle, hence a vagabond deserter. This word must be distinguished from “scamp,” to do work in a hasty, careless manner, which is apparently a variant of “skimp,” “skimpy,” and is to be referred to the root seen in O. Nor. skammr, short; Eng. “scant.”