1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Shambles

SHAMBLES, a slaughter-house, a place where butchers kill animals for domestic food, an " abattoir." The word in the singular means properly a bench or stall on which butchers display their meat for sale in a market, and appears in O. Eng. fōt-scamel, foot-stool. It represents the La. scamellum, diminutive of scamnum, step, bench; the root is seen in Greek σκήπτρειν, to prop, cf. "sceptre." The distinct word "shamble," meaning to walk awkwardly, is to be traced to the O. Du. schampelen, to stumble, an adaptation of O. Fr. escamper, to decamp (Lat. ex, out of, and campus, field). The same French word has given the English " scamp," a worthless rascal, a rogue, vagabond.