scum

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scum

(skŭm),
A film of insoluble material that rises to the surface of a liquid, as in epistasis.
[M.E.]

scum

(skŭm) [ME. scume]
Slimy floating islands of bacteria or impurities on the surface of a culture; an interrupted pellicle of bacterial growth.
References in classic literature ?
And against that, I have the misfortune to be a convicted felon, who has spent the last ten or a dozen years amongst the scum of the earth, engaged in degrading tasks, and with no identity save a number.
There was just the ordinary surface scum of ledgers and polished counters and brass bars that began and stopped for no possible reason, of electric-light globes blossoming in triplets, of little rabbit hutches faced with glass or wire, of little rabbits.
He learned to bite the ice out with his teeth when it collected between his toes; and when he was thirsty and there was a thick scum of ice over the water hole, he would break it by rearing and striking it with stiff fore legs.