Originally: a hypothetical particle proposed by T. H. R. Skyrme (1922–87) as a means of modelling atomic nuclei. In later use also: a quasiparticle formed by a pointlike region around which the orientations of the surrounding magnetic dipole moments follow a vortex-like pattern.
1970s. From the name of Tony H. R. Skyrme, British physicist, who described the concept in 1958 (in Proc. Royal Soc A. 247 260) + -i- + -on.