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The back of a person's or animal's neck.‘he grabbed him by the scruff of his neck’
- ‘Late Beethoven tends to take fugues by the scruff of the neck and shake them till they howl.’
- ‘Beethoven often insists on taking us by the scruff of the neck and giving us a thorough shaking.’
- ‘I wanted to grab her by the scruff of her fluffy bunny neck.’
- ‘Finally Anton held her up by the scruff of her neck and she drew her limbs in, responding to some kitten memory of being carried that way by her mother.’
- ‘If you were lucky enough to see him perform on stage, you always had the feeling he might suddenly leap into the audience, grab you by the scruff of the neck and haul you up onstage to drink ouzo and dance with him.’
- ‘Again and again Oney grabs the reader by the scruff of the neck, both through his dexterity with details and through the horror of the downward spiral of the case itself.’
- ‘The orchestral introduction grips us by the scruff of the neck in the venom with which it makes hunting and stalking aurally incarnate.’
- ‘It shows how restricted life had become prior to their taking it by the scruff of the neck and shaking many things into a collective, vibrant consciousness.’
Late 18th century: alteration of dialect scuff, of obscure origin.
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