In a word: skint

The Baltimore Sun

Each week The Sun's John McIntyre presents a moderately obscure but evocative word with which you may not be acquainted, another brick to add to the wall of your working vocabulary. This week's word:


You may find yourself momentarily embarrassed when the check arrives, or impecunious, penurious, or flat-out stony broke. But if you want a succinct term, you can use skint.

It's British, a variant of skinned, and thus metaphorically redolent. Perhaps you recollect the Monty Python bit about Ewan McTeagle, the Scottish poet and author of the poignant lyric, "To Ma Own beloved Lassie. A poem on her I7th Birthday":

Lend us a couple of bob till Thursday. / I'm absolutely skint.

Touching, isn't it?

Example: From Iris Murdoch's The Message to the Planet: "I'm afraid we're skint, we were awfully cheated by Mario who left everything for us to pay."


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