v. scoot·ed, scoot·ing, scoots
To move or go suddenly and speedily; hurry.
Upper Southern US To squirt with water: "I know I wouldn't scoot down no hog with no hose" (Flannery O'Connor).
To move or slide to the side: Scoot that chair over.
[Scots, to eject, squirt, probably of Scandinavian origin; akin to Old Norse skjōta, to shoot.]
Our Living Language The verb scoot, meaning "to squirt with water," arose in the American Midlands. Two derived senses, both intransitive verbs, have become more widely known: "to slide suddenly across a surface" and "to move quickly": The mouse scooted across the floor. The phrasal verb scoot over, meaning, in its transitive sense, "to push (someone or something) to the side to make room," also arose in the Midlands but has spread throughout much of the country.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.