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Scrooch

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Scrooch

Postby Dr. Goodword » Fri May 24, 2013 11:02 pm

• scrooch •


Pronunciation: skruch • Hear it!

Part of Speech: Verb, intransitive

Meaning: (US Colloquial) To bend down, crouch, or duck (scrooch down).

Notes: Today's Good Word is purely English, hence its family is purely English. However, it is considered colloquial, that is, conversational, and not a word you would use in a formal document or in a high-paying job interview. Be careful not to confuse this word with the similar US colloquialism, scooch, without the R, as to scooch over a little bit and give me more room on the couch. They don't mean the same thing. If your coconversationalists are very forgiving, you may take the plunge and use the adjective from today's word, scroochy, as a scroochy person who slouches all the time.

In Play: It is difficult to use today's Good Word without the adverb down: "If you aren't wearing a helmet, I would suggest you scrooch down when we go down to the cellar: the ceiling there is rather low." You would be surprised how many situations present themselves where today's word works well: "Boy, would I love to scrooch down over a bowl of hot buttered grits this morning!"

Word History: This Good Word has an unusual origin: it was created by a series of repeated slips of the ear. It began its life somewhere around the turn of the seventeenth century as scruze "to twist and squeeze", a blend of the two verbs screw and squeeze. By the middle of the 18th century, it was being mispronounced as scrouge, and its meaning had changed to "squeeze up against someone" or "bow down toward someone shorter". A century later it had become today's Good Word, retaining only the second meaning. (Before I stop scrooching over my keyboard and go to lunch, let me thank Paul Rowland of Wallasey, England, for suggesting today's Good Word, no doubt from disbelief that we Yanks actually use it.)
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Re: Scrooch

Postby MTC » Sat May 25, 2013 7:34 am

Dr. G admonishes, "Be careful not to confuse this word with the similar US colloquialism, scooch...;" however, I think "scrooch" is much more likely to be confused with "scrunch." The words are spelled alike except for the middle two vowels, and have similar meanings.

scrunch (skrnch, skrnch)
v. scrunched, scrunch·ing, scrunch·es
v.tr.
1. To crush or crunch.
2. To crumple or squeeze; hunch: scrunched up their shoulders; scrunch one's nose against a window.
v.intr.
1. To hunch: "The men scrunched closer" (Susan Dworski).
2. To move with or make a crunching sound: scrunching along the gravel path.
n.
A crunching sound.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

[Probably alteration of crunch.]

scrooch: "To bend down, crouch, or duck (scrooch down)."

At their core both words describe pinching or contracting motions. "Scrooch" developed from "scruze 'to twist and squeeze.'" While "scrunch" is thought to have originated from "crunch."

Beyond these similarities, "scrooch" and "scrunch" arguably share sound symbolism; somehow to the human ear (mine at least) the "scr" and "ch" sounds feel appropriate to the squeezing, contracting actions they describe.

"Scooch" and "schoochie," on the other hand, have an entirely different feel, smoother and easier perhaps. The "r" sound of "scrooch" and "scrunch" seems to add roughness, a certain je ne sais quoi.

These nuances and subjectivities are, to me, what makes words so much more vital than mathematical symbols; the difference between a live butterfly fluttering over a flower, and a dead butterfly pinned to a page.
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Re: Scrooch

Postby LukeJavan8 » Sat May 25, 2013 12:27 pm

Sardines in a tornado shelter: "Scrooch down and scooch over".



We have lots of tornado shelters and basements here,
thank heaven, as we pray for those in Oklahoma.
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Re: Scrooch

Postby Philip Hudson » Sat May 25, 2013 6:26 pm

The Good Doctor opened a can of worms here. The worms were safely scrunched in the can before he opened it. Slang runs rampant. Here are just some examples in this vein:

I would define scrooch almost the same as the Good Doctor, but would leave room for the directional verb completer by defining: scrooch - (verb) to move to a different, less obvious or less vulnerable posture, to scrooch up, to scrooch down, to scrooch under, to scrooch in or over (move laterally and and thus make more room for others to scrooch). As MTC noted scrunch can be used similarly. I will add unch for your consideration,

Scooch (skuch) (verb) to move a small amount.

Scooch or scosh (skōsh) (noun)- a small amount. "Please put a scosh more cream in my coffee dear." A small unit of measure, less than a smidgin or a tad.

scrunch (squeeze and crunch) (verb) - crush with a loud noise. Use less space. Scrooch. Or to the contrary, make hair look fuller by however women do that.

unch (abbreviation) (noun) - An unchecked square in a crossword puzzle.

Unch (verb) - scooch, to move up or down slowly, to move slowly and carefully, to move slowly and unbidden [as in The British comedy "Are you being served?" the salesman says, "The sleeves may be a little long but they will ride up with wear."], a part of the human anatomy that I shall not define here, several “naughty definitions”.

I got most of these from memory but many of these checked out with the urbandictionary.

If you read all of this, you have a scosh too much time on your hands.
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Re: Scrooch

Postby bamaboy56 » Fri Jun 28, 2013 2:16 pm

Don't know if it's a Suthern Thang, but all my life I've heard the term "scrunch over" to mean the same as the meaning used here for "scrooch". Never heard the word "scrooch" until I saw this. Learn something new every day! Whew, been away from the site for a little while due to work so am trying to play "catch up" (not to be confused with "ketchup"). :-)
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Re: Scrooch

Postby Philip Hudson » Fri Jun 28, 2013 4:17 pm

Or catsup. You have heard real men don't eat quiche. Real Texans don't eat or cook with Ketchup or Catsup. One president thought ketchup should count as a vegetable on a school lunch menu. Was that Reagan or George Dubyah?
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Re: Scrooch

Postby gailr » Fri Jun 28, 2013 9:19 pm

^ I think he was using it to make the pie higher... :roll:
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Re: Scrooch

Postby Perry Lassiter » Fri Jun 28, 2013 11:28 pm

Peronally, if the server dare ask me whether I would like ketchup or steak sauce, I invariably reply, "Why? What's wrong with the steak?"
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Re: Scrooch

Postby Philip Hudson » Fri Jun 28, 2013 11:45 pm

Perry, Louisianans are people who didn't quite make it to Texas. I see your academic years in Texas have stood you in good stead. There is nothing worse on a steak than steak sauce of any stripe. Now, barbecue sauce is a whole nuther story.

Speaking of sauces, Worcestershire sauce is one. A red neck relative of mine invented it. Her husband named it, commenting, on his first taste, “Wos-dis-hyer-sauce?”
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Re: Scrooch

Postby call_copse » Tue Jul 02, 2013 6:55 am

Authentic pronunciation notes: (I always like to stamp on a good joke until it cries for mercy :D ) Worcestershire sauce is invariably said as simply 'Wooster' by Brits - the shire is ignored. If you are on an NSA spying mission or similar and need to blend in then saying the -shire would immediately mark you out as an interloper in the canteen.
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Re: Scrooch

Postby Philip Hudson » Tue Jul 02, 2013 12:02 pm

I worked for several months in Towcester, near Northampton, England. It is pronounced “ 'toh-stər”. As I understand it, there are no English muffins in England and no Salisbury steak in Salisbury. Similarly, there are no French fries in France or England, at least not by that name. There is no Swiss steak in Switzerland. Sadly, there is not much cheddar cheese in Cheddar. Is there any Worcestershire sauce in Worcestershire? I never checked on that when I was in Worcestershire because, as Perry told us, a steak does not need a steak sauce unless it has something to cover up.
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Re: Scrooch

Postby Perry Lassiter » Tue Jul 02, 2013 2:39 pm

We mostly pronounce it wooster down here too, although I sometimes hear a -sher tacked on.
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Re: Scrooch

Postby LukeJavan8 » Tue Jul 02, 2013 5:33 pm

I hear "Wister" a lot.
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Re: Scrooch

Postby call_copse » Thu Jul 04, 2013 7:03 am

@Philip
Said Worcestershire sauce would be added to cheese on toast or other cooking than steak, at least in our household. I'm sure it is available in both Worcester and Worcestershire.

We call English muffins 'muffins'. We have your cake type muffins, in fact they are prevalent, but they are not required to be qualified as 'American' because such varieties are always flavoured - it is understood that a blueberry or choc chip muffin is of the American variety.

Cheddar cheese is used as a general term for low grade cheese across Europe. There is however a PDO on 'West Country Farmhouse Cheddar' for which the milk used must originate from the 4 south western counties.

And quite rightly any true Englishman would simply walk away from the inadequate, crispy, weedy french fries Americans serve, as a waste of decent potatoes fit only for mewling children at cheap burger emporiums (NB: not actually true - I'm just redefining true here :wink: )
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Re: Scrooch

Postby LukeJavan8 » Thu Jul 04, 2013 11:48 am

I broke my fast this AM with blueberry muffins
smothered in butter. Yummmmm.
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