One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
verbscragging, scrags, scragged[with object]
1British informal Handle roughly; beat up.‘my brothers were hoping he'd put a foot wrong so they could scrag him’
- ‘I saw one group of traders run off like a startled herd, while three police, like a pack of hunting dogs, scragged the least nimble.’
- 1.1Rugby Grasp (an opponent) by placing an arm around the neck.‘he was scragged by Budd and Cooper came away with the ball’
- ‘Our No 8 Jim Bell had scragged him on the line as he had tried to kick the ball clear, but it fell straight on the floor, so I dived on it to score.’
- ‘He was scragged by two players, disappeared under a heap of bodies, but emerged from the bottom of the ensuing ruck none the worse for wear.’
- ‘Again the Australian referee courted controversy when he seemed to indicate a Scottish penalty advantage but gave none when Blair was duly scragged by the green jerseys.’
- ‘Scotland still had their chances and on 59 minutes De Marigny was scragged by Ally Hogg and the Italian No.10 held on too long.’
- ‘There is talk that Cameron Ling is having his jumper framed, complete with a picture below of him scragging Buckley to the ground.’
2US archaic Kill by strangling or hanging.‘many an honester man than her has been scragged’
- 2.1dated, informal Kill; murder.‘you can think up a nicer way of scragging me than by drowning, because you know I loathe water’kill, do to death, put to death, assassinate, execute, liquidate, eliminate, neutralize, dispatch, butcher, cut to pieces, slaughter, massacre, wipe out, mow downView synonyms
- 2.1dated, informal Kill; murder.
1An unattractively thin person or animal.‘his companion was a thin scrag of a man’
skin and bone, stickView synonyms
- ‘Xio, who now was wearing a very displeased face replied, ‘My finals don't start till noon you little scrag!’’
- ‘I'm not about to let that two-bit scrag get a piece of my action,’ she told journalists.’
- ‘She is a tall scrag of a woman, crouched in profile, alone on a steep verge above the relentless Florida traffic.’
- ‘She's a dud, a bit of a scrag if you ask me.’
- ‘They had me and the rest of those scrags and scalawags gyrating all over in some sort of fiendish trance!’
2archaic, informal A person's neck.
- ‘‘I don't like this scrag, ‘he answers, pulling at the skin at the top of his neck.’’
Mid 16th century (as a noun): perhaps an alteration of Scots and northern English crag ‘neck’. The verb (mid 18th century) developed the sense ‘handle roughly’ from the early use ‘hang, strangle’.
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