General English


  • noun one of a pair of long thin pieces of wood or plastic, which a person attaches to their feet in order to move over snow


  • suffix
    (written as -ski)
    a humorous ending added, usually to slang terms, by teenagers and students. Examples are finski and buttinsky. The termination indicates friendship, respect, acceptance into the group when attached to a proper name, e.g. ‘Normski’ (a black UK TV presenter). When terminating the name of an object, e.g. brewski, it denotes affectionate familiarity. The suffix occurs in Slavonic languages and in many Yiddish surnames.


  • noun either of a pair of long thin boards made of wood, metal, or other material that curve up at the front and are used to slide across snow
  • verb to glide over the surface of snow or water wearing skis, as a means of travel or as a leisure pursuit or sport

Origin & History of “ski”

A ski is etymologically a piece of wood ‘split’ from a tree trunk. The word was borrowed from Norwegian ski, a descendant of Old Norse skíth ‘piece of split wood, ski’. this in turn came from the prehistoric Germanic base *skīth-, *skaith- ‘divide, split’, source also of English sheath, shed, etc. The Norwegian word is pronounced /she/, and that is the way in which it was once often said (and indeed sometimes spelled) in English. (Old Norse skíth may also lie behind English skid (17th c.), which originally meant ‘block of wood used as a support’, hence ‘wooden chock for stopping a wheel’. The modern sense only emerged in the 19th century, from the notion of a wheel slipping when it is prevented from revolving.).