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  • WordNet 3.6
    • v scum remove the scum from
    • n scum a film of impurities or vegetation that can form on the surface of a liquid
    • n scum worthless people
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Scum refuse; recrement; anything vile or worthless. "The great and innocent are insulted by the scum and refuse of the people."
    • Scum The extraneous matter or impurities which rise to the surface of liquids in boiling or fermentation, or which form on the surface by other means; also, the scoria of metals in a molten state; dross. "Some to remove the scum as it did rise."
    • v. i Scum To form a scum; to become covered with scum. Also used figuratively. "Life, and the interest of life, have stagnated and scummed over."
    • Scum To sweep or range over the surface of. "Wandering up and down without certain seat, they lived by scumming those seas and shores as pirates."
    • Scum To take the scum from; to clear off the impure matter from the surface of; to skim. "You that scum the molten lead."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n scum Foam; froth: as, the scum of the sea.
    • n scum The impurities or extraneous substances which rise to the surface of liquids, as in boiling or fermentation, or which form by other means; also, the scoria of molten metals; hence, by extension, any film or surface of foul floating matter: as, the scum of a stagnant pond.
    • n scum Refuse; dross; offscourings.
    • scum To remove the scum from; clear off the froth, dross, or impurities that have risen to or formed on the surface of; skim.
    • scum To sweep over; move swiftly upon; skim.
    • scum To arise or be formed on the surface as foam or scum; be thrown up as scum.
    • scum To be or become covered with scum: generally with over.
    • scum To skim lightly: with over.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Scum skum foam or froth: the extraneous matter rising to the surface of liquids, esp. when boiled or fermented: refuse: offscourings, dregs
    • v.t Scum to take the scum from: to skim:—pr.p. scum′ming; pa.t. and pa.p. scummed
    • ***


  • Duke of Wellington Arthur Wellesley
    Duke of Wellington Arthur Wellesley
    “We have in the service the scum of the earth as common soldiers.”
  • Policeman
    “We're talking scum here. Air should be illegal if they breathe it.”
  • Edward Abbey
    Edward Abbey
    “Society is like a stew. If you don't stir it up every once in a while then a layer of scum floats to the top.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
Of Scand. origin; cf. Dan. & Sw. skum, Icel. skūm, LG. schum, D. schuim, OHG. scūm, G. schaum,; probably from a root meaning, to cover. √158. Cf. Hide skin, Meerschaum Skim (v.) Sky


In literature:

The only thing to do to that kind of scum is kill them.
"The Galaxy Primes" by Edward Elmer Smith
All we need now is a chance, and it's such scum as old Bloom that keeps us out.
"Shorty McCabe on the Job" by Sewell Ford
Your mother is a kettledrum, you scum!
"The Little Clay Cart" by (Attributed To) King Shudraka
And a scum of it lay upon all the ground.
"The Corner House Girls at School" by Grace Brooks Hill
So forget about being smart, or you'll wind up with that scum below decks!
"On the Trail of the Space Pirates" by Carey Rockwell
Some taste they have like ours, some tendency To wriggle about, and munch a trace of scum.
"Little Masterpieces of American Wit and Humor" by Various
The first required them to make way through mud, or thick stagnant water covered with scum, often reaching above their knees.
"The Castaways" by Captain Mayne Reid
They must be only the scum who say such things.
"In Honour's Cause" by George Manville Fenn
You ought to be above noticing the scum of the place.
"The Lost Middy" by George Manville Fenn
Scum of the town and the country round.
"Nic Revel" by George Manville Fenn
We have been attacked in the night by a gang of old Napoleon's scum.
"The Ocean Cat's Paw" by George Manville Fenn
You cowardly, treacherous bit of scum!
"The Weathercock" by George Manville Fenn
It is a specimen, I suppose, of the scum we shall find yonder.
"To Win or to Die" by George Manville Fenn
The scum was then taken off, when the liquid had become reduced to thick syrup of a deep brown colour.
"The Wanderers" by W.H.G. Kingston
Youth, in all circumstances, is cream, and only turns into scum when allowed to stagnate or run to waste.
"Dusty Diamonds Cut and Polished" by R.M. Ballantyne
How could he be sure, just from a casual glance, that I was such vicious scum?
"The House of Torchy" by Sewell Ford
Making soup in a basket, and getting nothing but the scum for our stomachs.
"Romola" by George Eliot
She spurns the Yankee scum!
"A History of the United States" by Cecil Chesterton
There should be a streaky scum on the surface, and the water underneath clear with a green tinge.
"Vegetable Dyes" by Ethel M. Mairet
The water was dirty and green-scummed and thick.
"Land of the Burnt Thigh" by Edith Eudora Kohl

In poetry:

The scruff an' scum o' the deid shore gleamt
An' glintit a sauty gray;
The banes o' the deid stack oot o' its bed,
The sea lickit them as they lay.
"The Twa Gordons" by George MacDonald
When in her gracious hand are seen
The dregs and scum of earth and seas,
Her kindness counting all things clean
That lend the sighing sufferer ease;
"For The Meeting Of The National Sanitary Association" by Oliver Wendell Holmes
They call me "The Scum," the saddle tramp bum
And ever since that old day
When I quit the strife of the cowpunchin' life
To travel and yodel and play
"The Saddle Tramp" by Curley Fletcher
Lo, this is he in whom the surgent springs
Of recollections richer than our skies
To feed the flow of tuneful strings,
Show but a pool of scum for shooting flies.
"Bellerophon" by George Meredith
"And he stirred it round and round and round,
And he sniffed at the foaming froth;
When I ups with his heels, and smothers his squeals
In the scum of the boiling broth.
"The Yarn of the Nancy Bell" by William Schwenck Gilbert
Thou venomed thing, I know not what to call thee,
The dregs of nature surely did befall thee,
Thou wast made of the dross and scum of all,
Man hates thee; doth, in scorn, thee spider call.
"The Sinner and The Spider" by John Bunyan

In news:

HIT & SCUM: Stand-up Feltonville deliveryman struck down by driver.
Malvo felt like 'worst piece of scum'.
We love Jenny every day, but today she got into a twitter battle with scum of the earth, Chris Brown, so today we really love her.
Scum of the Earth Dwells In Prospect Park .
The newly-renovated reflecting pool was drained of water this week after ABC7 reported that unsightly algae and scum was creeping into it.
Favorite right wing scum blog.
Scum of the Earth Dwells In Prospect Park.
Now a visible scum showed up on the surface.
Riggs of Scum of the Earth Talks to Bethany Lee.
Artists make Amtrak dry ' Scum River'.
Astoria's mighty " Scum River" has finally stopped flowing.
His band, Scum of the Earth, will release its second album, " Sleaze Freak," next week.
DC sniper felt like 'worst piece of scum '.
Dryer Sheet as Scum Buster.
And More on Cheating Scum .

In science:

There are even some ‘warped’ scenarios in which there is an extra dimension of infinite size : in this case, we are literally the ‘scum of the Universe’, rather like insects skating on the surface of a pond, supported by surface tension.
Physics Beyond the Standard Model