- skin (n.)
- c.1200, "animal hide" (usually dressed and tanned), from Old Norse skinn "animal hide," from Proto-Germanic *skintha- (cf. Old High German scinten, German schinden "to flay, skin;" German dialectal schind "skin of a fruit," Flemish schinde "bark"), from PIE *sken- "cut off" (cf. Breton scant "scale of a fish," Irish scainim "I tear, I burst"), from root *sek- "cut." Replaced native hide (n.); the modern technical distinction between the two words is based on the size of the animal. Meaning "epidermis of a living animal or person" is attested from mid-14c.; extended to fruits, vegetables, etc. late 14c.
Ful of fleissche Y was to fele, Now ... Me is lefte But skyn & boon. [hymn, c.1430]
Jazz slang sense of "drum" is from 1927. As an adjective, it formerly had a slang sense of "cheating" (1868); sense of "pornographic" is attested from 1968. Skin-tight is from 1885; skin deep is first attested in this:
All the carnall beauty of my wife, Is but skin-deep. [Sir Thomas Overbury, "A Wife," 1613; the poem was a main motive for his murder]
- skin (v.)
- late 14c., "to remove the skin from" (originally of circumcision), from skin (n.). As "to have (a particular kind of) skin" from c.1400. Related: Skinned; skinning.