To evade work or obligation, to shirk, to hide, to move about silently.


Skulk I one of these verbs once lost already, re-found and lost again. This verb, stemming from the Norwegian skulke baring the same meaning, was vastly used as of the early 13th century and very common in Middle English, but completely absent in the 15th and 16th centuries’ records. This verb was only reborrowed in the 17th century, and is now lost again.

Why this word?

Skipping school, missing work, watching TV instead of doing word, going to the beach when you have a dentist’s appointment… All these things are so fun, and this is skulking! This word is as fun as the activity it describes.

How to use skulk?

In the exact same way you’d use skip, ditch and miss- but only as long as you’ve done something fun with this time! Being sick- doesn’t qualify.

However, it can also describe hiding but in this case it would not be a fun action. You skulk in the sense of hiding only when there’s a real reason for which you don’t want to be seen… “I’ve been skulking around the house all week long as my landlord is there all the time and I still can’t make rent…” or  “David has been skulking around the office ever since that date he had with the secretary that didn’t go too swell”.  


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Written by Victoria Sheinkin

Victoria Sheinkin is a writer, content editor, translator and chief editor for Speaking three and a half languages, she holds two BAs from the Tel Aviv university- Communication and jounalism, English literature and linguistics.


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