Scupper

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Scupper

Postby Dr. Goodword » Mon Nov 23, 2020 8:53 pm

• scupper •


Pronunciation: skêp-êr • Hear it!

Part of Speech: Noun, verb

Meaning: 1. (Noun) an opening through a wall for draining water, as from the deck of a ship or a flat roof. 2. (Verb) To scuttle, to deliberately sink a ship. 3. To thwart or ruin, (in battle) to massacre.

Notes: Today's Good Word has no lexical relatives but may be used as a noun and verb, though with different meanings. This word is often used in the UK, whereas Americans would use scuttle.
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In Play: The noun occurs often in connection with sailing vessels: "Ships loaded to the scuppers with furs, tobacco, silver and gold sailed to Europe from the Americas on a regular basis." The verbal use is semantically far removed from the nominal usage: "The president scuppered plans for reorganizing the department over cost concerns."

Word History: Scupper seems to be an instrumental noun from an ancestor of scoop. This word is related to German schöpfen "to bail, scoop out" and Dutch schop "shovel". In fact, it is related to English shovel and shove, too. All these words originated in PIE skeub-/skoub- "to throw, push", which shows up in German schieben "push, thrust", Norwegian skubba "push", Lithuanian skubinti "hurry, hasten" and skubus "hurried, urgent, pressing". (Lexiterian David Myer suggested today's rather British Good Word. For his impression of it, see his discussion in the Alpha Agora.)
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wordlady1
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Re: Scupper

Postby wordlady1 » Tue Nov 24, 2020 3:15 am

In Baltimore, we would say loaded to the gunwales. (This was also an expression to describe a very drunk person.)

David Myer
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Re: Scupper

Postby David Myer » Wed Nov 25, 2020 10:40 pm

Yes, Wordlady, I suspect that often the scuppers are holes in the gunwales. So if it is loaded to the gunwales, it would be loaded to the scuppers too.

And in Baltimore, what do you call the kitchen utensil (that I call a scupper) that you use to lift eggs and bacon around and out of a frying pan?

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Re: Scupper

Postby Philip Hudson » Mon Nov 30, 2020 2:39 pm

Wordlady1: You are definitely right for Baltimore. I have spent many a day there on assignment. Here in the hinterland we spell it gunnels and pronounce it that way. You folks in Bawl-MURR talk differently from Standard American. But then, US-uns in the hinterland do too - 'n thet's arr-ITE.

That reminds me of getting my car out of a garage in Manhattan. The attendant had a very strong accent and I could not understand him. An African American employee nearby translated for me. I have been told that the New York accent is called a Port accent and can be compared to some New Orleans accents.

And - we in the hinterlands have scuppernong grapes.
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Slava
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Re: Scupper

Postby Slava » Mon Dec 14, 2020 4:04 pm

...what do you call the kitchen utensil (that I call a scupper) that you use to lift eggs and bacon around and out of a frying pan?
In my world, that would be a spatula, or pancake turner if it's used for that.
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Re: Scupper

Postby David Myer » Mon Dec 14, 2020 6:22 pm

If it's a spatula, what is the flat iced lollipop stick used by doctors to flatten the tongue and inspect the tonsils?

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Slava
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Re: Scupper

Postby Slava » Mon Dec 14, 2020 6:26 pm

If it's a spatula, what is the flat iced lollipop stick used by doctors to flatten the tongue and inspect the tonsils?

David
Tongue depressor. And the stick with flat plastic or rubber at one end for getting stuff out of a jar or a pan is a bowl scraper. Though that is also sometimes called a spatula, too.
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Re: Scupper

Postby David Myer » Mon Dec 14, 2020 7:08 pm

Most interesting, Slava. Interesting enough for me to explore a little further!

Spatula, from the Latin for a broadsword. Seems that it includes any blade used for stirring including bladed paint stirrers. So really it technically doesn't include your egg flipper or lifter - except perhaps when they are used for stirring. But then it would be an egg flipper being used as a spatula!

Interesting also that the word spade comes from the same origin. I suspect that a broadsword was well used when not being used as a weapon. I can just see all those Roman soldiers stirring their cans of paint with a broadsword!


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