The first recorded use of the word scummer dates back to 1585. It referred to one who scours the sea, a rover or a pirate. For many years it was a nickname for pirates or buccaneers. Then in the twentieth century football fans, especially fans of small clubs, began to use it for their rivals. Nowadays, Luton fans use it as a nickname for Watford, as do Grimsby fans for Hull.
Spanish treasure ships were attacked by English scummers off the coast of Hispaniola.
November 24, 2007