Green’s Dictionary of Slang

scoff v.

[Scot. scaff, to beg or ask for (food etc) in a mean or contemptible manner, but note S.Afr. scoff, food, a meal, f. Du. schoft, a quarter of a day, thus each of the day’s four meals]

1. [mid-19C+] (also scorf, skoff) to eat, to gobble up.

2. [late 19C] to give food, to feed.

3. [late 19C+] to grab.

4. [20C+] in fig. use, to defeat or attack.

5. [1930s–50s] (US drugs) to take narcotics orally.

6. [1960s] (US campus) to fellate.

7. [1970s] to drink.

8. [1950s+] (US teen) to steal, to pilfer.

In derivatives

scoffing (n.)

[1910s] (US) good or plentiful food.

In phrases

scoff (on) fishheads and scramble for the gills (v.)

[1940s–50s] (US black) to have a difficult time, to encounter problems.