c.1300, "to spring lightly," also "to jump over," probably from a Scandinavian source, cf. Old Norse skopa "to take a run," Middle Swedish skuppa "to skip, leap," from Proto-Germanic *skupan (cf. Middle Swedish skuppa, dialectal Swedish skopa "to skip, leap"). Related: Skipped; skipping.
Meaning "omit intervening parts" first recorded late 14c. Meaning "fail to attend" is from 1905. Meaning "to cause to skip or bound" is from 1680s. The custom of skipping rope has been traced to 17c.; it was commonly done by boys as well as girls until late 19c.