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OLD SCRATCH = Satan/Devil Origins

GUEST,.gargoyle 11 Mar 05 - 11:18 PM
Amos 11 Mar 05 - 11:33 PM
Amos 11 Mar 05 - 11:35 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 12 Mar 05 - 12:20 AM
Uncle_DaveO 12 Mar 05 - 12:38 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 12 Mar 05 - 11:56 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 13 Mar 05 - 01:01 AM
Malcolm Douglas 13 Mar 05 - 10:49 AM
Amos 13 Mar 05 - 10:53 AM
GUEST 13 Mar 05 - 11:12 AM
GUEST 13 Mar 05 - 06:33 PM
GUEST,Anne Croucher 13 Mar 05 - 07:33 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 13 Mar 05 - 08:53 PM
Rumncoke 13 Mar 05 - 11:05 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 14 Mar 05 - 12:00 AM
LadyJean 14 Mar 05 - 11:55 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 15 Mar 05 - 12:08 AM
GUEST,Paul Burke 15 Mar 05 - 05:17 AM
Bunnahabhain 15 Mar 05 - 10:28 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 15 Mar 05 - 11:24 PM
GUEST,Kato 23 Feb 13 - 11:35 AM
GUEST,999 23 Feb 13 - 06:43 PM
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Subject: OLD SCRATCH = Satan/Devil Origins
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 11 Mar 05 - 11:18 PM

Numerous North American folk tales and songs (particularly New England origin) make reference to "Old Scratch."

An hour of web searchs turned up an obscure reference to Nordic roots.

Even more than citations and references - I would appreciate the SOURCES - that reference his referral.

Sincerely,
Gargoyle

If Random House would only publish their Third Volumn of American Slang - I am SURE the origins - usages lie within Mr. Lighter's reference base.


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Subject: RE: OLD SCRATCH = Satan/Devil Origins
From: Amos
Date: 11 Mar 05 - 11:33 PM

Amer Her:

Probably alteration of scrat, from Middle English, hermaphrodite goblin, from Old Norse skratte, wizard, goblin.

REGIONAL NOTE:
Old Scratch, like Old Nick, is a nickname for the devil. In the last century it was widely used in the eastern United States, especially in New England, as is evident from the Devil's name for himself in the Stephen Vincent Benét short story "The Devil and Daniel Webster." Now the term has been regionalized to the South. Old Scratch is attested in the Oxford English Dictionary from the 18th century onward in Great Britain as a colloquialism: "He'd have pitched me to Old Scratch" (Anthony Trollope, 1858). The source of the name is probably the Old Norse word skratte, meaning "a wizard, goblin, monster, or devil."


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Subject: RE: OLD SCRATCH = Satan/Devil Origins
From: Amos
Date: 11 Mar 05 - 11:35 PM

Old Scratch "the Devil," 1740, is from earlier Scrat, from O.N. skratte "goblin, monster," a word which was used in late O.E. for "hermaphrodite" (cf. O.H.G. scrato "satyr, wood demon").

This was taken fromn an on-line etymological dictionary; the reference to old high Greek scrato compared to old Norse skrat is interesting.


A


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Subject: RE: OLD SCRATCH = Satan/Devil Origins
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 12 Mar 05 - 12:20 AM

Amos - THANK YOU


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Subject: RE: OLD SCRATCH = Satan/Devil Origins
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 12 Mar 05 - 12:38 PM

Amos, are you sure O.H.G. is "Old High Greek"? I rather think it's "Old High German".

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: OLD SCRATCH = Satan/Devil Origins
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 12 Mar 05 - 11:56 PM

Within a week I would sincerely appreciate references to sources outside of "Devil and Daniel Webster" "Cross Roads" any other American verson.



Sinceely, Gargoyle



Indebtedness will be sincerely noted/


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Subject: RE: OLD SCRATCH = Satan/Devil Origins
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 13 Mar 05 - 01:01 AM

Robinson, Whitby Glossary, 1855: Scrat, or usu. Old Scrat- The devil. Dialect. From the OED, 1971.
This is the only documented use I could find, outside of American literature.
"Old Nick" is 17th c, but "Old Scratch" seems to be another expression which internet references try to document through speculation and faulty reasoning.
Relating the dial. 19th c. English expression to the Old English scrat is speculation, albeit possible. I have not seen the references cited below.

F. K. Robinson, A glossary of the words used in the neighbourhood of Whitby. English Dialect Society, 1876. There is a 1965 reprint; may not have all of the material of the 1855 original, Lancashire material added.
F. K. Robinson, 1855, A glossary of Yorkshire words and phrases, collected in Whitby and the neighbourhood, with examples of their colloquial in Whitby and the neighbourhood ---, 204 pp.


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Subject: RE: OLD SCRATCH = Satan/Devil Origins
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 13 Mar 05 - 10:49 AM

Also Sidney Oldall Addy, A Glossary of Words used in the Neighbourhood of Sheffield, English Dialect Society, 1888:

OLD SCRAT, the Devil.

SCRAT. See Old Scrat.
  Scrat is Skratti, the demon of Norse mythology.

Addy also mentions "Old Harry" and "Old Lad". It was quite the fashion to trace Norse influence at that time; nowadays lexicographers are more likely merely to note "Cf. O.N. Scratte" (as does Chambers for example): though a direct connection is not impossible, it can't be demonstrated.


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Subject: RE: OLD SCRATCH = Satan/Devil Origins
From: Amos
Date: 13 Mar 05 - 10:53 AM

Old High German, quite right. My goofus -- displaced brain, sorry.


A


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Subject: RE: OLD SCRATCH = Satan/Devil Origins
From: GUEST
Date: 13 Mar 05 - 11:12 AM

Random House Distionary of American Slang Vol II, 1997, J.E. Lighter p. 715.



>Old Scratch n. the devil.



*1740 (cited in Partiridge DSUuserdefined>. *1762 in F& H V 101: He must have sold himself to Old Scratch; and being a servant of the devil, how coulde he be a good jubject to his Majesty. 1824 W. Irving, in DARE: If I mistake not, ... you are he commonly called old Scratch.    1838 [Halifurton] Clockmaker (Ser. 2) 24: Looking so like old Scratch. 1849 W. Irving, in Botkin Treas. Amer. Folk. 736: Old Scratch nust have had tough time of it. 1862 in C. Brewster Cruel War 84: I believe the men would volunteer to go to the "old scratch" himself if they could only have a change. 1862 in Dannett Civil War Humor 145: Raisin' the old scratch generally for ten years.   1865 J.H. Browne Seccesia 34: If ye were not all in Tophet, no one could deny we had gone to the oold Scratch. 1941 in Botkin Treas. Amer. Folk. 123: He had sold his soul to old Scratch. 1949 (quot at OLD NED) <1949 Gresham Limbo Tower 68: The Old Scratch won it!   (b>1965-70 in DARE.



Sincerely, Gargoyle


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Subject: RE: OLD SCRATCH = Satan/Devil Origins
From: GUEST
Date: 13 Mar 05 - 06:33 PM

I don't know where it started, but as I grew up, Old Scratch was another word for the Devil. Gringo


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Subject: RE: OLD SCRATCH = Satan/Devil Origins
From: GUEST,Anne Croucher
Date: 13 Mar 05 - 07:33 PM

I don't know if this is relevant - I was brought up in Barnsley, Yorkshire and 'it looks as black as old Scrayt's coal'ole' was a saying I heard, when the weather turned nasty - when dark clouds came over before a thunderstorm, for instance.

Scrayt rhymes with date, with a closed throat 'y' -is that a glottal stop? and t'explosive 't' that gives foaks wot writes down songs such bother to tell wot were sung.

Like 'tyumuns' for t'empty uns' in Jowl jowl and listun, Lad.

Anne


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Subject: RE: OLD SCRATCH = Satan/Devil Origins
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 13 Mar 05 - 08:53 PM

I was amused to find that "Old Scrat" is still alive in the speech of some people. In an online complaint the writer (American?)suggests that the pulpits of the nation are being taken over by 'Old Scrat' himself, since "many minister of the gospel do not believe in the divinity of Christ," etc. Appalled
Our noble president hasn't brought him into one of his speeches yet, but I wouldn't be surprised if he did.

Anne, you might like to read "The Witches of old North Yorkshire," Witches
The text is in purple on black, so it might need highlighting to read it easily, but some amusing anecdotes. "She's ugly as muck with black blood in her heart, Old Scrat bought her soul, so they say."


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Subject: RE: OLD SCRATCH = Satan/Devil Origins
From: Rumncoke
Date: 13 Mar 05 - 11:05 PM

OOsh - you might have warned me about the music, it is 4 am here and I would not be popular if I woke the man - but yes - very interesting.

I decided to join up so I could see the shawl which is being auctioned - took me several goes to find a name not already taken.

Anne


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Subject: RE: OLD SCRATCH = Satan/Devil Origins
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 14 Mar 05 - 12:00 AM

The proposed Nordic>Scandenanian rerference to SKAT _ SKATCH - Is referenceded poorley within this tread.{PRLEASE) > list the URL for your to your one line soure


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Subject: RE: OLD SCRATCH = Satan/Devil Origins
From: LadyJean
Date: 14 Mar 05 - 11:55 PM

The mmovie "The Devil and Daniel Webster" refers to the devil as Mr. Scratch. They use the fiddle tune "The Devil's Dream" as part of the soundtrack. I did rather appreciate that.
I've been calling my tabby kitten "scrat" for scrap of cat. Her official name is Grace O'Malley in honor of the famous pirate. And she's considerably more than a scrap these days.


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Subject: RE: OLD SCRATCH = Satan/Devil Origins
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 15 Mar 05 - 12:08 AM

Folks - the immediate posting - above midnight - was not from me.....at least I hope it was not me - however, it is a fine burlesque and parody. If it was from me - and I don't recall posting - an admission to a rehab center and testing for multiple-personality-disorder .... is in order.

My VERY first encounter with the term under discussion was through Dicken's CHIRSTMAS CAROL nothing, New England to it. (Text courtesy of Project Guttenberg)

The Phantom glided on into a street. Its finger pointed to two persons meeting. Scrooge listened again, thinking that the explanation might lie here.

He knew these men, also, perfectly. They were men of business: very wealthy, and of great importance. He had made a point always of standing well in their esteem: in a business point of view, that is; strictly in a business point of view.

"How are you?" said one.

"How are you?" returned the other.

"Well!" said the first. "Old Scratch has got his own at last, hey?"

"So I am told," returned the second. "Cold, isn't it?"

"Seasonable for Christmas time. You're not a skater, I suppose?"

"No. No. Something else to think of. Good morning!"

Not another word. That was their meeting, their conversation, and their parting.

Sincerely,
GARGOYLE


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Subject: RE: OLD SCRATCH = Satan/Devil Origins
From: GUEST,Paul Burke
Date: 15 Mar 05 - 05:17 AM

It's funny how even the most innocent phrases can have hidden depths- take 'Aw shucks'. Can you get a more innocent exclamation than that?

But withing a short distance of here- Derbyshire UK- we have the Shuckstone, Shugborough, Shockley- all of which owe their names to an Anglo Saxon demon, who appeared in the form of a dog. So even the cleanest all-American boy calls on abysmal fiends!


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Subject: RE: OLD SCRATCH = Satan/Devil Origins
From: Bunnahabhain
Date: 15 Mar 05 - 10:28 PM

Oxford dictionary of English Etymology, 1966.

Scratch (dialect), ususally 'Old scratch', the devil. 18th C. alteration of dialect scrat, Late Middle English scrate. 15 C. Hermaphrodite- Old Norse. scrat(t)i wizard, goblin, monster, related to Old High German scrato (german schrat) satyr, sprite

shuck dialect, US. Husk, 18 C. Valueless thing. Of unknown origin.

dictionary. com sujjest possible alteration of shit as origin.
Websters. Origin unknown.


BARGHEST, BARGTJEST or BARGEST,
the name given in the north of England, especially in Yorkshire, to a monstrous goblindog with huge teeth and claws, The spectre-hound under various names is familiar in folk-lore. The Demon of Tedworth, the Black Dog of Winchester and the Padfoot of Wakefield all shared the characteristics of the Barghest of York. In Wales its counterpart was Gwyllgi, the Dog of Darkness, a frightful apparition. of a mastiff with baleful breath and blazing red eyes. In Lancashire the spectre-hound is called Trash or Striker. In Cambridgeshire and on the Norfolk coast it is known as Shuck or Shock. In the Isle of Man it is styled Mauthe Doog. It is mentioned by Sir Walter Scott in The Lay of the Last Minstrel For he was speechless, ghastly, wan Like him of whom the Story ran Who spoke the spectre hound in Man.

A Welsh variant is the Cwn Annuis, or dogs of hell. The barghest was essentially a nocturnal spectre, and its appearance was regarded as a portent of death. Its Welsh form is confined to the sea-coast parishes, and on the Norfolk coast the creature is supposed to be amphibious, coming out of the sea by night and travelling about the lonely lanes. The derivation of the word barghest is disputed. Ghost in the north of England is pronounced guest, and the name is thought to be burh-ghesl, town-ghost. Others explain it as German Berg-geisl, mountain demon, or Bar-geist, bear-demon, in allusion to its alleged appearance at times as a bear. The barghest has a kinsman in the Rongeur dOs of Norman folklore. A. belief in the spectre-hound still lingers in the wild parts of the north country of England, and in Nidderdale, Yorkshire, nurses frighten children with its name.

See Wirt Sikes, British Goblins (1880); Notes and Queries, first series, ii. 51; Joseph Ritson, Fairy Tales (Lond. 1831), p. 58; Lancashire Folklore (1867); Joseph Lucas, Studies in Nidderdale (Pateley Bridge, 1882).


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Subject: RE: OLD SCRATCH = Satan/Devil Origins
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 15 Mar 05 - 11:24 PM

Shuck has two origins, one unknown. The first is described by Paul Burke, in his post above.
The shuck of unknown origin is the husk or covering of corn (Br. maize), etc., the removal of shells from oysters, etc., and thus something of little value.
The expression "aw, shucks" seems to be related to the latter.

Shuck is still heard sometimes as a substitute for shook.


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Subject: RE: OLD SCRATCH = Satan/Devil Origins
From: GUEST,Kato
Date: 23 Feb 13 - 11:35 AM

Growing up in New England I was told his name came from because " Old Scratch" can scratch your name from the " Lambs Book of Life" hope this helps.


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Subject: RE: OLD SCRATCH = Satan/Devil Origins
From: GUEST,999
Date: 23 Feb 13 - 06:43 PM

"Mr. Scratch redirects here. For the film of that title, see The Devil and Daniel Webster (film) circa 1941.

Old Scratch or Mr. Scratch is a folk name for The Devil in the local legends of New England and pre-Civil War America.[1] It is possible that the local legends containing this name were influenced by Faustian stories brought to North America by German immigrants.
Old Scratch is also referred to in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain, in The Sing-Song of Old Man Kangaroo by Rudyard Kipling, in A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, in The Three Clerks by Anthony Trollope, in Miracle Monday by Elliot S. Maggin, in Alan Wake by Remedy Entertainment, Dirty Jobs episode 1.28 ("Coal Miner"), and in The Witches of Eastwick (film).

The above from Wikipedia.


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