One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
verb[with object]Northern Irish
Scratch or scrape (something)‘with the other hand I scrabbed his face’no object figurative ‘the police desperately scrab for leads’
- ‘I managed to scrab and kicked out, so at least one of them must have bruises or marks.’
- ‘That poem is about picking blackberries, reaching on and on, with your hands all scrabbed.’
- ‘She used her nails to scrab an officer.’
- ‘She tried to grab me and was scrabbing the neck off me.’
- ‘He yanked the girl's tie, scrabbed her face, and shoved her.’
- ‘Rats and mice give off a strong ammonia smell and are often noisy making scrabbing noises when they are present.’
An injury or mark caused by scratching.‘she had scrabs on her back’
- ‘His neck had "three or four scrabs on it".’
- ‘He first blamed a cat for the scrab marks down his face.’
- ‘The woman was not only threatened but was left with scrape and scrab marks.’
- ‘The victim was found to have gashes and scrabs on her back.’
- ‘She had suffered "a black eye and bruising all over my body" as well as "scrabs all over my neck".’
Late 15th century: from Dutch schrabben ‘to scrape’; related to scrabble and scrape.
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