Lovely word ‘scrimshank’, describing either something being a mess, at sixes and sevens, or referring to work-shirking, particularly in the armed forces.¬† The latter meaning is clearly intended here.

‘… those half-shaven scrimshankers I see lounging around Headquarters.’

Source: Evelyn Waugh, Brideshead Revisited: The Sacred and Profane Memories of Captain Charles Ryder (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1968 (1945)), p. 325

 

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