From scratch

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7 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:

    [...] From scratch « The Word Detective [...]

  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.”

  6. Origins 2 - From Scratch | Emily Morgan WritesEmily Morgan Writes:

    [...] Detective http://www.word-detective.com/2010/06/from-scratch/ 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.

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