When you spend your time not doing what you should be doing, you could be said to be skiving ['skaɪvɪŋ]. This applies especially to taking unofficial time off school, or at least it was the expression used when I was at (secondary) school in the 1980s, not that I ever indulged in it. It is also used to describe the avoiding work and others things you should be doing.
Other ways of describing this practice include playing truant, doing a bunk and bunking off. I’ve also heard some people using mitching or mitching off for this, and I think you can ‘dog’ school in Scotland. In the USA do you skip or cut class/school or play hooky?
The etymology of skive, as in to play truant / avoid work, is uncertain, but skive has another meaning: to split or cut into strips, which comes from the Old Norse skifa [source].
Here’s a good example of attempted skiving:
A mother repeatedly called upstairs for her son to get up, get dressed and get ready for school. It was a familiar routine, especially at exam time.
“I feel sick,” said the voice from the bedroom.
“You are not sick. Get up and get ready,” called the mother, walking up the stairs and hovering outside the bedroom door.
“I hate school and I’m not going,” said the voice from the bedroom, “I’m always getting things wrong, making mistakes and getting told off. Nobody likes me, and I’ve got no friends. And we have too many tests and they are too confusing. It’s all just pointless, and I’m not going to school ever, ever again.”
“I’m sorry, but you are going to school,” said the mother through the door. She decided to try a bit of encouragement, “Really, mistakes are how we learn and develop. And please try not to take criticism so personally. I can’t believe that nobody likes you – you have lots of friends at school. And yes, all those tests can be confusing, but we are all tested in many ways throughout our lives, so all of this experience at school is useful for life in general. Besides, you have to go, you are the headmaster.” [Source]
Are there other words for this practice in English or other languages?