Origin of scarperultimately from Italian scappare, to run away, escape from Late Latin an unverified form excappare, escape
(third-person singular simple present scarpers, present participle scarpering, simple past and past participle scarpered)
- (UK, slang) To run away; to flee; to escape.
- In the chapter "Punch Talk" of 1851, Henry Mayhew, London Labour and the London Poor, Vol 3, the author discusses the slang language used by travelling Italian Punch and Judy men and entertainers, which had English, Italian, Jewish and traveller roots. He states that "scarper" is Punch Talk for "to get away quickly" (from the police or other authority) and derives from the Italian scappare or escappare (compare English escape).