The noun scantiness is the state of there not being enough of something. If you are facing a scantiness of food, your stomach will probably start to growl.
A scantiness of fleas on your dog is a good thing, but a scantiness of food in your refrigerator isn't so great. There's also the scantiness of clothing that doesn't cover up much. For example, the scantiness of your high school prom dress might inspire your mom to hand you a sweater as you walk out the door. Scantiness comes from scant, "barely sufficient," with its Old Norse root, skamt, "short." In the 1920's, scanties was slang for "women's underwear."