Merriam Webster defines the word as:
- a : DEFEAT
b : to prevent entirely from scoring or succeeding : SHUT OUT
- : to fail to pay; also : CHEAT
While the origin of the noun form of the word is provided, there is no mention of the origin of the verb except that it has been around since 1843. Online Etymology Dictionary mentions “skunk” as a noun but not as a verb.
skunk (n) refers to – according to Merriam Webster- either:
- a : any of various common omnivorous black-and-white New World mammals (esp. genus Mephitis) of the weasel family that have a pair of perineal glands from which a secretion of pungent and offensive odor is ejected
b : the fur of a skunk
- an obnoxious or disliked person
Origin (Online Etymology Dictionary):
1630s, squunck, from a southern New England Algonquian language (probably Abenaki) *seganku, from Proto-Algonquian */šeka:kwa/, from */šek-/ "to urinate" + */-a:kw/ "fox." As an insult, attested from 1841. Skunk cabbage is attested from 1751; earlier was skunkweed (1738)
How about the origin of the verb and is it related to that of the noun?