One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A metal container with a sloping hinged lid and a handle, used to fetch and store coal for a domestic fire.
- 1.1 The amount of coal held in a scuttle.‘carrying endless scuttles of coal up from the cellar’
- ‘Half a scuttle of coal 2-3 times/day is required to keep the fire burning.’
- 1.1 The amount of coal held in a scuttle.
Late Old English scutel ‘dish, platter’, from Old Norse skutill, from Latin scutella ‘dish’.
no object, with adverbial of direction Run hurriedly or furtively with short quick steps.‘a mouse scuttled across the floor’
scamper, scurry, scramble, bustle, skip, trot, hurry, hasten, make haste, rush, race, dash, run, sprintView synonyms
- ‘But then he arrives, smiles warmly, asks for a glass of wine and a moment to speak to his wife, and scuttles off.’
- ‘The window-dressers tut, relinquish their sparkling trolley, turn on their heels and scuttle back to safety.’
- ‘As a result, the insect scuttles around on automatic pilot.’
- ‘She nods slowly and scuttles away, going from sitting next to me to between Brendon and a meditating Seleth, the four of us nestled in a shady corner.’
- ‘As I read on the couch, something scuttles across the floor and I look up from the pages.’
- ‘After barely a verse, a Brazilian news crew scuttles over, a gaggle of photographers in tow.’
- ‘Sartre also, Marie-Denise Boros points out, was particularly fond of the crab, a creature which scuttles its way into everything from his philosophical texts to his plays.’
- ‘Most of the immersion exists in the street and sewer scenes when cars and the noises of little rat feet scuttling shuffle from speaker to speaker, kind of.’
- ‘I open the rest of my presents and scuttle upstairs to put my pants away in my pants drawer.’
- ‘The nurse eventually scuttles happily out of the curtains and disappears.’
- ‘Behind one of the cameras a lizard scuttles up the wall and disappears down the other side.’
- ‘Mrs Grier scuttles off, and Mr Grier hobbles over to the couch.’
- ‘In one episode, a small, pinkish earwig-type creature scuttles across the floor, up a man's pants and into his mouth.’
- ‘Its little brown body scuttles across the floor, traveling like the cars outside of my window.’
- ‘I try to hug him, but he just drops to the floor and scuttles away, slamming the door shut again with his feet.’
- ‘The hedgehog scuttles off along the wall, until the dancing is only a distant noise and he unfolds back into a boy.’
- ‘In other contemporaneous drawings, the fish bodies seem to have morphed into billowing sails and scuttling deep-sea crustaceans.’
- ‘Then, he would return the bowl and scuttle back to his lair.’
- ‘A shiny, rust-colored beetle, only 1/8-inch long, scuttles across a kitchen countertop.’
- ‘A hedgehog scuttles out of the shrubs, it clicks across the road and I staccato-step behind it.’
- ‘Meanwhile, rows of new swiveling, scuttling ergonomic chairs line the walls.’
- ‘My absolute dream has always been to live and work in the same space - work downstairs then scuttle upstairs to a nest in the rafters.’
- ‘The man he sits on scuttles away, so timid to be sat on first thing in the morning.’
An act or sound of scuttling.‘I heard the scuttle of rats across the room’
scamper, scampering noise, scurry, scurryingView synonyms
- ‘Earlier in the day, I visited Little Water Cay, where I could hear the scuttle of endangered rock iguanas mixing with the waves.’
Late 15th century: compare with dialect scuddle, frequentative of scud.
1Sink (one's own ship) deliberately by holing it or opening its seacocks to let water in.
- ‘A Soviet sub carrying rotten caviar and toxic waste cabbage broth is scuttled and the oozing brew burbles into the depths of the ocean.’
- ‘The gallant heroism of both the British Navy and the German Captain Langsdorff, who scuttles his own ship rather than face defeat, strongly appealed to Powell and Pressburger.’
- 1.1 Deliberately cause (a scheme) to fail.‘some of the stockholders are threatening to scuttle the deal’
- ‘Yet he constantly scuttles any optimism that the nightmare is possibly manageable.’
- ‘But I also have to face the facts: sometimes a good concept can be hopelessly scuttled by budgetary limitations.’
- ‘On the other, the book makes no concession to ways in which authorial intent might be shaped or scuttled by external factors.’
- ‘There is little doubt that his Nazi ties scuttled his career while he was alive and sullied his reputation after his death.’
- ‘Trent Lott, R-Miss., suggested that there could be repercussions for the industry, always well-protected by Congress, if it succeeded in scuttling the agreement.’
- ‘Too often the music's lyricism is scuttled by his bumpy legato, its tremendous strength is held in check, and the soundstage turns powerful phrases into key-pounding exercises.’
- ‘Golub was an odd man out, one of those who kept alive certain ambitions scuttled by the artists who followed Abstract Expressionism.’
- ‘As such, she doesn't get out much, since her few attempts at dating are scuttled by the conspicuous presence of her bodyguards.’
- ‘Kunuk comes off as a sentimentalist, scuttling his attempts to inflate his story into something bigger, leaving remains that feel as psychologically uncomplicated as the similarly themed The Lion King.’
- ‘This film's release to DVD is unwarranted, and it should be scuttled and returned to the hidden film vault beneath the Nevada salt mines.’
- ‘The Babysitters Club would have been a first-rate film had they simply scuttled the stupid story points and let the characters interact and speak to each other.’
- ‘He was an outspoken critic of the show when it began, mostly because it scuttled his own plans for a Galactica reboot that would pick up where the 1978 version left off.’
- ‘Wood Island could be anywhere in America, and it's this lack of a concrete focus that finally scuttles the story being told.’
An opening with a lid in a ship's deck or side.
Late 15th century (as a noun): perhaps from Old French escoutille, from the Spanish diminutive escotilla ‘hatchway’. The verb dates from the mid 17th century.
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