intransitive verbscrammed, scram′ming
Origin of scramcontr. of scramble
intransitive verbscrammed, scram·ming, scrams
- To leave a scene at once; go abruptly.
- To shut down automatically. Used of a nuclear reactor.
Origin of scramPerhaps short for scramble
(third-person singular simple present scrams, present participle scramming, simple past and past participle scrammed)
- Get out of here; go away (frequently imperative).
- If you don't scram, I'll leave instead!
Attested since 1928 , originally as U.S. slang ; either:
(third-person singular simple present scram, present participle scraming or scramming, simple past and past participle scramed or scrammed)
- (intransitive) To abruptly insert the control rods of a nuclear reactor, usually in case of emergency shutdown.
- A rapid shutdown of a nuclear reactor
- Alternative spelling of SCRAM.
Back-formation from SCRAM; most etymologies are backronyms.
Originally an acronym for Safety Control Rod Axe Man, a term used to refer to the person assigned to the duty of dropping the boron control rods into the "pile" at the University of Chicago in case of emergency. This task was accomplished by cutting the supporting ropes with an axe and allowing the rods to drop into the core by natural gravitational forces.
Unclear, conflicting sources are probably backronyms.