"make bare," Old English -striepan, -strypan "plunder, despoil," as in West Saxon bestrypan "to plunder," from Proto-Germanic *straupijanan (cf. Middle Dutch stropen "to strip off, to ramble about plundering," Old High German stroufen "to strip off, plunder," German streifen "strip off, touch upon, to ramble, roam, rove"). Meaning "to unclothe" is recorded from early 13c. Of screw threads, from 1839; of gear wheels, from 1873. Related: Stripped; stripping. Strip poker is attested from 1916, in a joke in "The Technology Monthly and Harvard Engineering Journal":
strip search is from 1947, in reference to World War II prison camps.