You know sometimes at work, you finish something and then you just relax a bit, because you don't want to get burdened with another ticket. Is there a word for such action? I am not saying people should do this, but they do this.

  • Is there any particular reason that you think this very specific meaning would have a single word definition in English (for example is there a single word in your native languge?)
    – James K
    Commented Apr 18, 2019 at 23:27
  • 1
    Not a word but a phrase: to go through the motions. Not exactly what you asked about but close enough imo. Commented Apr 19, 2019 at 0:08

1 Answer 1


There is a word for it. It seems to be more common as a single word in British English, and (seemingly) as a two-word phrase in US English. I know I hear the two-word phrase quite often in Canada.


verb (1)
British informal
: to avoid work or school by staying away or by leaving without permission
// … 71 per cent said rewards for good ideas and punctuality would make them work harder and not skive
South Wales Evening Post
// Tam is 15 and he's skiving school.
— Julie Mccaffrey
—often used with off
// I once worked in a hospital garden where my workmate skived off every day with "backache" and disappeared to work on his car at home.— Louis De Bernières

verb (2)
: to cut off (a material, such as leather or rubber) in thin layers or pieces : PARE

Examples of skive in a Sentence
Verb (2)
// He works for his mother and feels he can skive off whenever he feels like it.
// She skived off school twice last month.

Honestly, I'd never heard the single-word version before looking it up. I'd assumed I'd find it listed in the dictionary under skive off.

While it can be used in the sense of skipping work altogether, I often hear it used for people who are at work but not actually doing anything productive. (Such as playing games on their computers.)

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