One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A loud shrill cry or screech.
no object To utter a loud shrill cry or screech.
1with object To scratch; (now) especially to scratch (a pet) affectionately with one's fingernails.
2no object To make a scratching sound; especially (of an animal's claws) to scratch noisily on or across a surface.
Representing a scratching or scraping sound.
A scratching or scraping sound.
Mid 16th century; earliest use found in Hall's Vnion: Richard III. From scritch<br>Middle English; earliest use found in The Owl and the Nightingale. Imitative<br>1920s; earliest use found in The Charleston Gazette. Probably a variant or alteration of scratch, probably after scritch and perhaps also partly after itch<br>late 19th century; earliest use found in Harper's Young People. Probably a variant of scratch, perhaps arising from vowel alternation in a reduplicated form, or perhaps immediately after scritchy.
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