1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Scantling

SCANTLING, measurement or prescribed size, dimensions, particularly used of timber and stone and also of vessels. In regard to timber the scantling is the thickness and breadth, the sectional dimensions; in the case of stone the dimensions of thickness, breadth and length; in shipbuilding the collective dimensions of the various parts. The word is a variation of “scantillon,” a carpenter's or mason's measuring tool, also used of the measurements taken by it, and of a piece of timber of small size cut as a sample. The O. Fr. escantillon, mod. échantillon, is usually, taken to be related to Ital. scandaglio, sounding-line (Lat. scandere, to climb; cf. scansio, the metrical scansion). It was probably influenced by cantel, cantle, a small piece, a corner piece. The English form “scantling” was no doubt partly due to a confusion with “scant,” stinted, of short measure; this is for scamt, cf. “skimpy,” “scamp” (q.v.), and is related to O.N. skammr, short, brief.