skim off

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skim something off (of) something

 and skim something off 
1. Lit. to scoop something off the surface of something. (Of is usually retained before pronouns.) The cook skimmed the fat off the stew. The cook skimmed off the fat.
2. Fig. to remove a portion of something of value, such as money, from an account. (Of is usually retained before pronouns.) The auditor was skimming a few dollars a day off the bank's cash flow. Kelly skimmed off a few dollars each day.
See also: off, skim

skim off something

also skim something off
to take something valuable The colleges with very high standards skim off the best high school graduates. State and local governments skim tax money off the company's profits.
Etymology: based on the literal meaning of skim off ( to remove something floating on a liquid)
See also: off, skim

skim off

1. To remove some floating matter from a liquid: They use a net to skim the cranberries off the surface. They skim off the dross before pouring the metal into molds.
2. To appropriate some money illegally or dishonestly: The dictator skimmed off over $1 million from international donations and deposited it in personal bank accounts. The company was skimming money off its employees' paychecks and using it to cover losses.
See also: off, skim
References in periodicals archive ?
Initially Youness was always keen to have conduct of the deals himself because he may well skim off a certain amount for himself.
So we are advising members with cast cows to sell to either avoid abattoirs that skim off additional money or offer their animals to a nearby auction market instead.
Bring to a boil and skim off any scum that comes to the surface.
With a spoon, skim off and discard foam, leaving clarified butter behind.
Skim off old grass and fork over the soil before laying turves.
Now the English banks, who skim off up to pounds 2.
No longer would insurers be able to compete solely on their ability to skim off the young and healthy and ignore the others -- the people who need health insurance most of all.
Skim off floating weeds with a net, rake, scoop or wooden board.
So-called carousel frauds see high-value goods repeatedly imported and exported between different EU nations, while criminal gangs skim off VAT payments often worth millions of pounds.
After meat has reached 145|, tilt pan to skim off and discard fat.
Cool vegetables and stock for 5 minutes and skim off the fat.
Dams have been set up to stem the flow of the diesel and workers will be visiting these periodically over the week to skim off polluted water.
Meanwhile, prepare the gravy; skim off any excess fat from the roasting tin and discard.
After it has boiled, skim off the foam from the top, cover with the lid and place into your oven at gas 1, 275F, 140C for about six hours.
Strain braising liquid, pressing hard on solids; skim off fat.