From scratch

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9 comments on this post.
  1. Greg:

    Well, now, as I first heard it, “from scratch” meant that a cake was being made starting with a scratching of one’s head, as if to summon a cake from pure thought.

  2. Rosemarie:

    ‘ Unfortunately, “scratch” as slang for “money,” which appeared in the early 20th century, is a complete mystery. ‘

    Could it be that money is what you need to start with? In the same way that flour, sugar, and vanilla are “scratch ingredients” for making a cake “from scratch,” as you so eloquently explain!

  3. Wooden Boat Building: Plans versus Kits | Express Cruiser Boat Building & Design:

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  4. Charlie N.:

    How about “scratch” golfer?

  5. Alex:

    Re. scratch golfer, would the following from the main text not explain:

    In foot races, the “scratch” was the starting line, and “to start from scratch” meant to run the race with no advantage, no handicap or head start, i.e., “with nothing.”

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    […] Detective has a marvellous discussion of the origins of the word scratch as well as its origins in phrases […]

  7. Dwight Swartwood:

    I believe the term “scratch” used in stead of money, has a old farm background, as in a chicken must “scratch” around the barn yard to find something to eat. “Scratch” means money to live on.

  8. Mary:

    A “scratch golfer” is one who hits par on every hole.

  9. Michael:

    Scratch as money, could be signifying its an agreed upon standard for keeping track of value. I give you 10 pounds of potatoes, you make a scratch someplace, like a ledger. In turn, you agree to give me some milk or perform some labour, and I then scratch that out of the ledger, or scratch a mark indicated the debt is repaid.

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