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In the United Kingdom, a skipper is someone who sleeps rough -- someone who sleeps in a hedge, haystack, or bus shelter. This comes from the 1920s sense of skip meaning a barn or shed, not the more modern sense of a dumpster. It originally was used as a verb, as in 'do a skipper', but now it is primarily used as a noun referring to a homeless person, or as an insult indicating that you look unkempt.

Skip"per (?), n.

1. One who, or that which, skips.

2. A young, thoughtless person.

Shak.

3. Zool. The saury (Scomberesox saurus).

4. The cheese maggot. See Cheese fly, under Cheese.

5. Zool. Any one of numerous species of small butterflies of the family Hesperiadae; -- so called from their peculiar short, jerking flight.

 

© Webster 1913.


Skip"per, n. [D. schipper. See Shipper, and Ship.]

1. Naut.

The master of a fishing or small trading vessel; hence, the master, or captain, of any vessel.

2. A ship boy.

[Obs.]

Congreve.

 

© Webster 1913.

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