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Scratch   Listen
noun
Scratch  n.  
1.
A break in the surface of a thing made by scratching, or by rubbing with anything pointed or rough; a slight wound, mark, furrow, or incision. "The coarse file... makes deep scratches in the work." "These nails with scratches deform my breast." "God forbid a shallow scratch should drive The prince of Wales from such a field as this."
2.
(Pugilistic Matches) A line across the prize ring; up to which boxers are brought when they join fight; hence, test, trial, or proof of courage; as, to bring to the scratch; to come up to the scratch. (Cant)
3.
pl. (Far.) Minute, but tender and troublesome, excoriations, covered with scabs, upon the heels of horses which have been used where it is very wet or muddy.
4.
A kind of wig covering only a portion of the head.
5.
(Billiards)
(a)
A shot which scores by chance and not as intended by the player; a fluke. (Cant, U. S.)
(b)
A shot which results in a penalty, such as dropping the cue ball in a pocket without hitting another ball.
6.
In various sports, the line from which the start is made, except in the case of contestants receiving a distance handicap.
Scratch cradle. See Cratch cradle, under Cratch.
Scratch grass (Bot.), a climbing knotweed (Polygonum sagittatum) with a square stem beset with fine recurved prickles along the angles.
Scratch wig. Same as Scratch, 4, above.
start from scratch to start (again) from the very beginning; also, to start without resources.






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Scratch" Quotes from Famous Books



... wounded. As for the ——th, it fared a little better, not heading a column; but its loss was fearful. Bulstrode was seriously wounded, early in the attack, though his hurt was never supposed to be dangerous. Billings was left dead on the field, and Harris got a scratch that served him to talk ...
— Satanstoe • James Fenimore Cooper

... face them proved unavailing. I am utterly unable to give any clear account of what followed immediately after that, for we were all, friends and foes, mixed up for some minutes in the wildest confusion, and how I ever got out of it all without a scratch is a mystery to me. More than once I was in violent collision with Colorado men, distinguished from ours by their uniform, and several furious blows with sword and lance were aimed at me, but somehow I escaped them all. I emptied the six chambers of my Colt's revolver, but whether my bullets ...
— The Purple Land • W. H. Hudson

... like a woman. You surely don't think I'm going to lie here for a week, like a sick cat, for such a little scratch. I've lost some blood, that's all." And before she could prevent it, he had drawn himself up and ...
— Westerfelt • Will N. Harben

... had much recovered. Our small captive showed its ferocious nature by trying to bite and scratch every one who approached it. It caught Tanda by the arm when taking it some food, and not till it had received several blows on the head would it let go. It was then shut up in a strong cage; but the following morning was found dead, after ...
— In the Eastern Seas • W.H.G. Kingston

... darling. No horse could scratch a foothold in the place where our mules are as safe as in a meadow. Come, dear heart, let us be going." But Hedwig hung her head, and did not stir. "What is it, Hedwig?" he asked, bending down to her and softly stroking her hair. ...
— A Roman Singer • F. Marion Crawford

... "Who the old scratch are ye?" asks a voice from inside, while a heavy footstep is heard coming along the saguan. Before the startled burglars can shape a reply, ...
— The Flag of Distress - A Story of the South Sea • Mayne Reid

... great demand after the first wounded hero made his appearance. His wound was the envy of thousands of unfortunates who had not so much as a scratch to boast, and who felt "small" and of little consequence before the man with a bloody bandage. Many became despondent and groaned as they thought that perchance after all they were doomed to go home safe and sound, and hear, for all time, the praises of the fellow who had ...
— Detailed Minutiae of Soldier life in the Army of Northern Virginia, 1861-1865 • Carlton McCarthy

... championship in her youthful fancy. George had greased his cowhide boots some years ago, and came to the city to make his fortune. But he forgot to remember to show up again at Greenburg, and Hiram got in as second-best choice. But when it comes to the scratch Ada—her name's Ada Lowery—saddles a nag and rides eight miles to the railroad station and catches the 6.45 A.M. train for the city. Looking for George, you know—you understand about women— George wasn't ...
— Options • O. Henry

... of our body-politic will depend many of the singular differences, not only in degree but also in kind, in the immunity possessed by various individuals. While some surgeons and anatomists will show a temperature from the merest scratch, and yet either never develop any serious infection or display very high resisting power in the later stages, others, again, will stand forty slight inoculations with absolute impunity, and yet, when once the leucocyte-barrier is broken down, will make apparently little resistance to ...
— Preventable Diseases • Woods Hutchinson

... the doctor detected the niece in a criminal deed. She opened his desk, took out his papers, and she was ready to burn them up! They began to fight! Beautiful picture! Both are in nightgowns—they pull each other's hair, they scratch each other. He is stronger than she; although he has bitten her, she feels a certain pleasure in that experiment on her maiden skin of the strength of a man. In that is the whole of Zola. But let us listen, because the decisive moment approaches. The doctor himself, after ...
— So Runs the World • Henryk Sienkiewicz,

... there are ladies in College, There are ladies in Chapels and Halls; No doubt 'tis a pure love of knowledge That brings them within our old walls; For they talk about Goldie's 'beginning'; Know the meaning of 'finish' and 'scratch,' And will bet even gloves on our winning The ...
— Sagittulae, Random Verses • E. W. Bowling

... only resulted in double work for her mother. "Besides I can see Maezli," the mother concluded, "that your great zeal seems to come from a wish to get rid of all the things you don't like to wear yourself. All your woolen things, which you always say scratch your skin. So you do not mind if other ...
— Maezli - A Story of the Swiss Valleys • Johanna Spyri

... liveliness of social beings was absent and was even inconsistent with the superlative neatness of all around us. It was a best parlor out-of-doors, where the gayety of frolicking children would derange the set order of the furniture, or an accidental touch of a sacrilegious foot might scratch the polish of a fresh-varnished fence, or flatten down the nap of the green carpet of grass, every blade of which is trained ...
— Samuel F. B. Morse, His Letters and Journals - In Two Volumes, Volume II • Samuel F. B. Morse

... tabby: stroke them smoothly and they will purr and rub noses with you; but stroke them the wrong way and whirr! they scratch your hands and out of the window they fly! ...
— The Golden Dog - Le Chien d'Or • William Kirby

... customary for pawnbrokers in England, when they take a watch, to scratch the number of the ticket with a pin-point upon the inside of the case. It is more handy than a label, as there is no risk of the number being lost or transposed. There are no less than four such numbers visible to my lens on the ...
— The Sign of the Four • Arthur Conan Doyle

... you to be so beloved of God, that He will refuse you no request. I therefore entreat you to take pity on my poor wife, who for a week past has been possessed by the evil spirit in such a way, that she tries to bite and scratch every one. She cares for neither cross nor holy water, but I verily believe that if you will lay your hand upon her the devil will come forth, and I therefore earnestly entreat you to ...
— The Tales Of The Heptameron, Vol. IV. (of V.) • Margaret, Queen Of Navarre

... things which the common entertainment afforded. We have only to sum up this brief account of the learned Doctor, by informing the reader that he was a tall, lean, beetle-browed man, with an ill-made black scratch-wig, that stared out on either side from his lantern jaws. He resided nine months out of the twelve at St. Ronan's, and was supposed to make an indifferent good thing of it,—especially as ...
— St. Ronan's Well • Sir Walter Scott

... more than half choked, the two faithful servants scrambled back to land again. The falcon flew to a tree and spread his wings in the sun to dry, but the cat, after giving herself a good shake, began to scratch up the sandy banks and to throw ...
— The Orange Fairy Book • Various

... Desgenais has a heart, since he lives. In what respect does he differ from you? He is a man who believes in nothing, fears nothing, who knows no care or ennui, perhaps, and yet it is clear that a scratch on the finger would fill him with terror, for if his body abandons him, what becomes of him? He lives only in the body. What sort of creature is that who treats his soul as the flagellants treat their bodies? Can ...
— The Confession of a Child of The Century • Alfred de Musset

... to come up to the scratch," said Ned M'Gill to the other honourable gent—as they passed the Clydesdale Cricket Ground a few minutes to four o'clock on that memorable morning. Ned, however, was wrong. Through the grey dawn a muffled figure was observed crossing the Pollokshields Athletic Club's Park, and ...
— Scottish Football Reminiscences and Sketches • David Drummond Bone

... what the little man had said, and was already reflecting whether she should not let him have the second cheese, in consideration of the "honorable lady," when the hen began to scratch again. ...
— Uarda • Georg Ebers

... field long before Sandy Chipmunk. It took Mr. Crow no time at all to sail through the air and drop down at a good, safe distance from where Farmer Green and his hired man were planting corn. They had already planted several long rows. And Mr. Crow at once set to work to scratch up the yellow kernels ...
— The Tale of Sandy Chipmunk • Arthur Scott Bailey

... and showed me a short dagger fitting into a small handle. The point of the blade had been dipped in poison, and was carefully wrapped in paper. The instrument was used by sticking it into somebody in a crowd, and allowing it to remain. Death was pretty certain from a very slight scratch of this weapon. ...
— Overland through Asia; Pictures of Siberian, Chinese, and Tartar - Life • Thomas Wallace Knox

... brought home from Arizona. He mounted with Caesar under his left arm. The dog had never learned to climb a perpendicular ladder, and never did he feel so much his master's greatness and his own dependence upon him, as when he crept under his arm for this perilous ascent. Up there was even gravel to scratch in, and a dog could do whatever he liked, so long as he did not bark. It was a kind of Heaven, which no one was strong enough to reach but his ...
— Youth and the Bright Medusa • Willa Cather

... quite free and easy, quaffed his dram, and ogled the fair sex. With his sneering ways and affectation of reticence, he now doubtless knew a great deal more than she did. Paris was fast taking all the remaining rust off him; and Rosalie stood before him, delighted yet angry, undecided whether to scratch his face or let him give ...
— A Love Episode • Emile Zola

... surprised to find himself seated in the gulley; for starting immediately, without any aid, to his feet, he laughed idiotically as some men will laugh when awakened from a nap, and setting in order his dress, and singed hair, bore no other signs of injury beyond a scratch on the left cheek, and the loss of his scarlet woollen cap. The Norwegian, however, has to thank Heaven for a narrow escape, since the whole charge of his gun struck the tassel of his cap, and changed that memento of spousal devotion into ...
— A Yacht Voyage to Norway, Denmark, and Sweden - 2nd edition • W. A. Ross

... what hit'd do: Hit would smash an' grind an' tear an' hammer that there fine, straight body of hers 'til hit was all broken an' twisted an' crooked a heap worse'n what I be,—that's what hit would do; an' hit would scratch an' cut an' beat up that pretty face an' mess up her pretty hair an' choke her an' smother her 'til she was all blue-black an' muddy, an' her eyes was red an' starin', an' she was nothin' but just ...
— The Re-Creation of Brian Kent • Harold Bell Wright

... obsession of the seventeenth century by religious quarrels appears to-day; indeed, it is less rational, since the object with which it is concerned is less important. And it is a poison which inflames every wound and turns each trivial scratch ...
— The Mind in the Making - The Relation of Intelligence to Social Reform • James Harvey Robinson

... talk lak' de man, an' I ver' mooch scare. I ain' tell Clawhammer 'bout James Dean, an' he t'ink som' wan git los' mak' de yell. He ain' see it com' from de fox. I look on dat leetle fox, an' I see he ver' dead. But no blood. De fur jes' scratch' cross de back of de head—but, ...
— Connie Morgan in the Fur Country • James B. Hendryx

... tired acquiescence in its fabulous improbability. Anything might happen. What did she come for? She was part of the general scheme of his misfortune. He half expected that she would rush at him, pull his hair, and scratch his face. Why not? Anything might happen! In an exaggerated sense of his great bodily weakness he felt somewhat apprehensive of possible assault. At any rate, she would scream at him. He knew her of old. She could screech. He had thought that he was rid ...
— An Outcast of the Islands • Joseph Conrad

... insects of abnormal size, which he had read of as being common in certain warm countries, coursed through his mind. If he stirred, the thing might claw or bite, and the merest scratch was said, in some kinds of these venomous species, to ...
— Ralph Granger's Fortunes • William Perry Brown

... I am so miserable! They beat me, cuff me, the serving-maids pinch me, scratch me with their bodkins! They say you are hard and cold and cruel, but oh, have ...
— A German Pompadour - Being the Extraordinary History of Wilhelmine van Graevenitz, - Landhofmeisterin of Wirtemberg • Marie Hay

... gaze, he thought her wide-flung gesture a deserved tribute to the view. The Prickly Pear Valley lay before them, checkered in vivid green or sage-drab as water had been given or withheld. The Scratch Gravel Hills jutted impertinently into the middle distance; while on the far western side of the plain the Jefferson Range rose, tier on tier, the distances shading the climbing foothills, until the Bear's ...
— A Man of Two Countries • Alice Harriman

... he whispered back to her. "Words only scratch at things. I love you as if I had never seen you or ...
— Erik Dorn • Ben Hecht

... perfect ease and nonchalance of the young pilot amused me immensely, and all went on smoothly enough till the shades of evening closed in upon us; at which time, entering the Narrows, the satin-vested youth felt himself quite nonplused, despite his taking off his beaver, and trying to scratch for knowledge; in short, had it not been for Captain Harrison, who is a first-rate seaman and navigator, as all who ever sail with him are ready to testify, we might have remained out all night: fortunately, his superior skill got us safe in, and no ...
— Lands of the Slave and the Free - Cuba, The United States, and Canada • Henry A. Murray

... Craive went on, serious and determined. "You know the sort of thing I've come from. I got four days unexpected. I had to run down to my uncle's. The old things would have died if I hadn't. To-morrow I go back. This is my last night. I haven't had a scratch up to now. But my turn's coming, you bet. Next week I may be in heaven or hell or anywhere, or blind for life or without my legs or any damn thing you please. But I'm going to have to-night, and you're ...
— The Pretty Lady • Arnold E. Bennett

... picks up that handkerchief of hers as if her hand was a bird's claw. I can't get a blue jay or a canary out of my head when I see her. Did you ever see a bird scratch its ...
— Melbourne House • Elizabeth Wetherell

... greatness, in preference to the tumult of busy stone-masons or arming soldiers, is quite as appreciable when it is told as when it is seen,—it has nothing to do with the technicalities of painting; a scratch of the pen would have conveyed the idea and spoken to the intellect as much as the elaborate realizations of color. Such a thought as this is something far above all art; it is epic poetry of the highest order. Claude, in subjects of the same kind, commonly introduces ...
— Modern Painters Volume I (of V) • John Ruskin

... chamberlain brought him a note. He took it and ground it in his hand, continuing his march, continuing his bewildered thoughts; and some minutes had gone by before the circumstance came clearly to his mind. Then he paused and opened it. It was a pencil scratch from ...
— Prince Otto • Robert Louis Stevenson

... breath. "Yes—you got her. Gosh-A'mighty, son—I thought you had started in to clean out the ranch! You downed my rooster and you like to plugged me an' that heifer there. The bullit come singin' along and plunked into the rain-bar'l and most scared me to death. What in the ole scratch started you on ...
— The Ridin' Kid from Powder River • Henry Herbert Knibbs

... long. The head of the family jams his hat over his eyes and taking a pipe under each arm goes to the tin shop to have it fixed. When he gets back, he steps upon one of the best parlor chairs to see if the pipe fits, and his wife makes him get down for fear he will scratch the varnish off from the chairs with the nails in his boot heel. In getting down he will surely step on the cat, and may thank his stars that it is not the baby. Then he gets an old chair and climbs up to the chimney again, to find that in ...
— Scientific American, Vol.22, No. 1, January 1, 1870 • Various

... vigorously. "Shut up," he said, roughly, partly to hide his own feelings, "Charley's comin' back without a scratch. The good Lord, I reckon, don't make lads as true and white as he to be killed off by a pack of jail vermin. Come to the wall as he told us to. Maybe we'll get a shot at those murderers before the day is done. Come along an' stop that blubberin'," and he grabbed the ...
— The Boy Chums in the Forest - or Hunting for Plume Birds in the Florida Everglades • Wilmer M. Ely

... Flower-de-Lys, Powder of Brimstone, and dry'd Elicampane-Roots, of each a like quantity, and Bay-Salt powdered; mix these Powders with the Oyl, and warm it, anoint, scratch, and make it bleed, ...
— The School of Recreation (1696 edition) • Robert Howlett

... any more than Dr. Johnson did why the Scotch, who couldn't scratch a living at home, and came up to London, always kept on bragging about their native land and ...
— Baddeck and That Sort of Thing • Charles Dudley Warner

... of polishing and scoring their rocky channels. Icebergs, too, are potent geological agents. Many of them are loaded with 50,000 to 100,000 tons of rock and earth, which they may carry great distances. Also in their course they must break, and polish, and scratch the peaks and points ...
— The World's Greatest Books - Volume 15 - Science • Various

... lacking in intelligence in any way, but he had some curious mental twists that marked him as something out of the normal. His chief peculiarity lay in his dread of pain to himself. An ache, a trifling bruise, a mere scratch upon himself, would hurl him into a paroxysm of terror which frequently terminated in a fit, or, at least, convulsions of a serious nature. This drove the girl, who was his only living relative, to great pains in her care ...
— The One-Way Trail - A story of the cattle country • Ridgwell Cullum

... piece of luck, Bertie," Harry said when they had reached their room in the hotel. "In the first place, because neither of us got a scratch, and in the second, because it will bind Dias more closely to us. Before, he was willing to assist us for Barnett's sake, now it will be for our own also, and we may be quite sure that he will do ...
— The Treasure of the Incas • G. A. Henty

... performers, and a theatrical charwoman or two, behind them a sprinkling of the general public, whose time apparently hangs heavily on their hands. In a Stage-box is the Author herself, with a sycophantic Companion. A murky gloom pervades the Auditorium; a scratch orchestra is playing a lame and tuneless Schottische for the second time, to compensate for a little delay of fifteen minutes between the first and second Tableaux in the Second Act. The orchestra ceases, and a Checktaker ...
— Punch, Or The London Charivari, Volume 102, April 2, 1892 • Various

... those, Harry, who find it easy to be good-natured, and who are soft by nature, as cats are—not from their heart, but through instinctive propensity to softness. When it suits them, they scratch, even though they have been ever so soft before. Count Pateroff is a cat. You, Harry, I think are a dog." She perhaps expected that he would promise to her that he would be her dog—a dog in constancy and affection; but he was still ...
— The Claverings • Anthony Trollope

... lov'd this woman, how I worshipt this prettie calf with the white face here: as I live, you were the prettiest fool to play withall, the wittiest little varlet, it would talk: Lord how it talk't! and when I angred it, it would cry out, and scratch, and eat no meat, and it ...
— The Scornful Lady • Francis Beaumont and John Fletcher

... word to Uncle Dan'el, Tom Anderson, an' de rest ob dem, to come to McCullough's woods nex' Sunday night. I want to hab a sin-killin' an' debil-dribin' time. But, boy, you'd better git out er yere. Ole Miss'll be down on yer like a scratch cat." ...
— Iola Leroy - Shadows Uplifted • Frances E.W. Harper

... the "cattle men." Sheep-raising is said to be a very profitable business, but its risks and losses are greater, owing to storms, while the outlay for labor, dipping materials, etc., is considerably larger, and owing to the comparative inability of sheep to scratch away the snow from the grass, hay has to be provided to meet the emergency of very severe snow-storms. The flocks are made up mostly of pure and graded Mexicans; but though some flocks which have been graded carefully for some years show considerable merit, the average ...
— A Lady's Life in the Rocky Mountains • Isabella L. Bird

... with a sudden spring, involving herself and it in the flax. The old watch-dog roused himself with a growl to keep order. Cicely flung herself on the cat, Antony hurried to the rescue to help her disentangle it, and received a fierce scratch for his pains, which made him start back, while Mrs. Talbot put in her word. "Ah, Master Babington, it is ill meddling with a cat in the toils, specially for men folk! Here, Cis, hold her fast and I will soon have her ...
— Unknown to History - A Story of the Captivity of Mary of Scotland • Charlotte M. Yonge

... Monte-Cristo and Captain Morrel performed prodigies of valor, animating and encouraging their troops both by word and example. Finally the outlaws were completely subdued, such of them as had not been slain having been made prisoners. The Count escaped without a scratch, but Maximilian was slightly wounded ...
— Monte-Cristo's Daughter • Edmund Flagg

... was Edith and she had a younger sister Agnes. Their father was old Harry Mallerton, kept The British Oak at North Quainy; he stuttered. Well, this Edith had a love affair with a young chap William, and having a very loving nature she behaved foolish. Then she couldn't bring the chap up to the scratch nohow by herself, and of course she was afraid to tell her mother or father: you know how girls are after being so pesky natural, they fear, O they do fear! But soon it couldn't be hidden any longer as she was living at home with them all, ...
— The Best British Short Stories of 1922 • Various

... was no phonograph. The second dog-watch was Mr. Pike's on deck. Besides, as he explained, the rolling was too severe. It would make the needle jump and scratch his beloved records. ...
— The Mutiny of the Elsinore • Jack London

... from a scratch or wound, bathe the injured part frequently with weak ley, or warm pearl ash water, make a poultice by boiling bitter herbs in weak ley, and thicken it with corn-meal; put a little grease in just as you put it on. Bacon skin and the rind of fresh pork ...
— Domestic Cookery, Useful Receipts, and Hints to Young Housekeepers • Elizabeth E. Lea

... books an' answered the telephone at the hotel—when she found the time from her meddlin'. Somehow, I never thought about her bein' burned in with Morris till puss give her away. Puss never did like the girl when she was alive, an' the first time I see her scratch an' spit at the picture, just the way she used to do whenever she come in sight, why, it just struck me like a clap o' thunder out of a clear sky that puss knew who she was a-spittin' at—an' I switched around ...
— Humorous Ghost Stories • Dorothy Scarborough

... shrugging his shoulders. "I am sorry. You are young to die, you two. To die on the field of battle,—ah, that is noble! To die with one's back to a wall, blindfolded, and to be covered with earth so loosely that starving dogs may scratch away to feast—But, no more. You have decided. You have had many hours in which to consider the alternative. You will be shot ...
— Defenders of Democracy • Militia of Mercy

... "It's only a scratch," Polly whimpered. "I can do my work; I got to." One more feeble effort and she succumbed, with a ...
— Polly of the Circus • Margaret Mayo

... in his heartiest element. Men would make a scratch team at the sound of his voice, just to be led by him as captain. No mean field or batsman, he excelled in bowling. His resource in taking wickets was only equalled by the good temper with which adversaries walked away from the field with ...
— Memoir of William Watts McNair • J. E. Howard

... the path like a cloudlet of dust bowled along by the evening breeze. She was sixteen; how strange she looked, with her rather elongated face! she savoured of the open air, of the grass, of mother earth. And so accurate was his recollection of her that he could once more see a scratch upon one of her supple wrists, a rosy scar on her white skin. Why did she laugh like that when she looked at him with her blue eyes? He was engulfed in her laugh as in a sonorous wave which resounded and pressed close ...
— Abbe Mouret's Transgression - La Faute De L'abbe Mouret • Emile Zola

... think you were," said Barry in an odd tone. He glanced at her white cheek with its scarlet scratch of a branch. "And I rather think you ought to be asleep now but first you must eat this ...
— The Innocent Adventuress • Mary Hastings Bradley

... wad of tissue to his nose with one hand, Kellogg pulled up his trouser leg with the other and showed a scar on his shin. It looked like a briar scratch. "You saw it yourself." ...
— Little Fuzzy • Henry Beam Piper

... outfit. To-morrow I'm going to the city to round them up. They've stood by me before in many a tight place. It cost them a lot sometimes. But they stuck just the same. Now I've got a chance to stick by them. And I'm going to do it because I know they'll come up to the scratch." ...
— El Diablo • Brayton Norton

... pieces of wood. Far too poor to buy even the commonest kind of writing paper, John was in the habit of picking up shreds of the same material, such as used by grocers and other village shopkeepers, and to scratch thereon his signs and figures, sometimes with a pencil, but oftener with a piece of charcoal. Perhaps there never was a more unfavourable study of ...
— The Life of John Clare • Frederick Martin

... was a momentary vertigo.... Help me to sit up ... there, that's right.... I only need something to bind up this scratch, and I can reach home on foot, or you can send a droshky for me. The duel, if you are willing, shall not be renewed. You have behaved ...
— Fathers and Children • Ivan Sergeevich Turgenev

... earthy or tufaceous beds pass into jaspery and into beautifully mottled and banded porcelain rocks, which break into splinters, translucent at their edges, hard enough to scratch glass, and fusible into white transparent beads: grains of quartz included in the porcelainous varieties can be seen melting into the surrounding paste. In other parts, the earthy or tufaceous beds either insensibly pass into, or alternate with, ...
— South American Geology - also: - Title: Geological Observations On South America • Charles Darwin

... chief obstacles to the cure of illness among some black or native races is sheer superstitious terror; and Thanatomania is the recognized word for a state of mind ("obsession of death") which will often cause a savage to perish from a mere scratch hardly to be called a wound. The natural defence against this state of mind was the creation of an enormous number of taboos—such as we find among all races and on every conceivable subject—and these taboos constituted practically a great ...
— Pagan & Christian Creeds - Their Origin and Meaning • Edward Carpenter

... by the Common Sergeant and other officers. The method of voting is, by each alderman going up to the recorder and town clerk, who sit at a separate part of the room, and telling the person he would choose, a scratch is made ...
— The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction - Vol. 20. No. 568 - 29 Sept 1832 • Various

... said the fellows of the Fortieth that night, a propos of the snub given Devers, and the pursuit by members of another troop of material witnesses, "but when he locks horns in dead earnest, the other party's got to scratch gravel; it's business and ...
— Under Fire • Charles King

... for thankfulness," said Arthur, returning from a hurried circuit of the verandas, "not one on our side has received a scratch. But I have ordered the men to remain at their ...
— Elsie's Motherhood • Martha Finley

... village. And there's a reason for all things too, though the wise physician need not blab 'em all. Imprimis, or firstly, the mere sport of it, which lasted ten days, drew 'em most markedly out of their melancholy. I'd defy sorrowful job himself to lament or scratch while he's routing rats from a rick. Secundo, or secondly, the vehement act and operation of this chase or war opened their skins to generous transpiration—more vulgarly, sweated 'em handsomely; and this further drew off their ...
— Rewards and Fairies • Rudyard Kipling

... to pieces, Pull a shutter from the window, Then the house thou soon canst enter, Rush into the room like whirlwind, Plant thy foot within it firmly, And thy heel where space is narrow, 330 Push the men into the corner, And the women to the doorposts, Scratch the eyes from out the masters, Smash the heads of all the women, Curve thou then to hooks thy fingers, Twist thou then ...
— Kalevala, Volume I (of 2) - The Land of the Heroes • Anonymous

... I suppose? No, thank you, dear aunt. You go alone, I would rather stay at home. May I have little Clemmy to play with? She will bring Juba, and Blanche is very partial to Juba, though she does scratch him." ...
— Kenelm Chillingly, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... excruciating little throbs of pain. I raised a hand to it. My forehead was swathed in bandages, like a turbaned Turk's. Oh, to be sure, in the castle at Prezelay, as we were retreating up the staircase, Schwartzmann had fired at me; but, then, hadn't that been a pin prick, the merest scratch? ...
— The Firefly Of France • Marion Polk Angellotti

... walked on, our hands badly torn by brambles. Even Muriel's thick gloves did not wholly protect her, and once when she received a nasty scratch across the cheek, she ...
— The Czar's Spy - The Mystery of a Silent Love • William Le Queux

... arm, in consequence of which his friends insisted on his remaining in camp during the action of the next day, but his spirit was too great to comply with this remonstrance. He declared it should never be said that a scratch, received in a private rencounter, had prevented him from doing his duty, when his country required his service; and he took the field with a fusil in his hand, though he was hardly able to carry his arms. In leading up his men to the enemy's intrenchment, he was shot through ...
— The History of England in Three Volumes, Vol.II. - From William and Mary to George II. • Tobias Smollett

... it was with the conviction that she had slept long and soundly. The voices were hushed under the shed. Madame Antoine's step was no longer to be heard in the adjoining room. Even the chickens had gone elsewhere to scratch and cluck. The mosquito bar was drawn over her; the old woman had come in while she slept and let down the bar. Edna arose quietly from the bed, and looking between the curtains of the window, she saw by the slanting rays of the sun that the ...
— The Awakening and Selected Short Stories • Kate Chopin

... wouldn't have any more use for her pretty trinkets. She'd be in heaven before you could scratch your nose." ...
— Rainbow's End • Rex Beach

... a scratch," said Edred, speaking more freely now, though with a mumbling accent, as though his lips were swollen, which, indeed, one of them was. "I scarce feel it, now it is bathed. Do not look so grave anent the matter, ...
— The Secret Chamber at Chad • Evelyn Everett-Green

... the cowboy shooting a gun is merely what lighting a match would be to us. We take reasonable care not to scratch that match on the wall nor to throw it where it will do harm. Likewise the cowboy takes reasonable care that his bullets do not land in some one's anatomy nor in too expensive bric-a-brac. Otherwise any time or place ...
— The Mountains • Stewart Edward White

... It always made him sick to hear that freedom was coming closer. He just couldn't stand to hear about that. I always remember the day he died. It was the fall of Vicksburg. When he took a spell, I had to stand by the bed and scratch his head for him, and fan him with the other hand. He ...
— Slave Narratives: a Folk History of Slavery in the United States From Interviews with Former Slaves - Arkansas Narratives Part 3 • Works Projects Administration

... the Kirk, for she taught a class of Little Girls in the Sunday School, and she had to fake up an Explanation of how Joshua made the Sun stand still, thereby putting herself in the Scratch Division of ...
— Ade's Fables • George Ade

... scratch. All right, jolly, well, and through with the difficulty. My father pleased about the Burns. Never travel in the same carriage with three able-bodied seamen and a fruiterer from Kent; the A.-B.'s speak all night as though they were hailing vessels at sea; and ...
— The Letters of Robert Louis Stevenson - Volume 1 • Robert Louis Stevenson

... Elizabeth, rising, 'I think she had better come up-stairs with me. Do not you come, Mamma; I will send for you, if—if it is more than a scratch.' ...
— Abbeychurch - or, Self-Control and Self-Conceit • Charlotte M. Yonge

... hog!" said Sheridan, angrily. "In business hours! I don't object to anybody's takin' a drink if you wants to, out o' business hours; nor, if a man keeps his work right up to the scratch, I wouldn't be the one to baste him if he got good an' drunk once in two, three years, maybe. It ain't MY way. I let it alone, but I never believed in forcin' my way on a grown-up son in moral matters. I guess I was wrong! You think them men out there are waitin' to talk business with a drunkard? ...
— The Turmoil - A Novel • Booth Tarkington

... George, coming down the country, was pounced upon by a tiger and carried off. Ramoo seized a couple of muskets from the men, and rushed into the jungle after him, and coming up with the brute killed him at the first shot. George escaped with a broken arm and his back laid open by a scratch of the tiger's claws ...
— Colonel Thorndyke's Secret • G. A. Henty

... dress, and de boys wore skimpy little shirts and nothin' else. Dey mixed cow-hair wid de cotton when dey wove de cloth to make our winter clothes out of, and I'm a-tellin' you Missy, dat cow-hair cloth sho' could scratch, but it was good and warm and Marster seed to it dat us had all de clothes us needed. De 'omans made all de cloth used on de place; dey cyarded, spun, and den wove it. Mammy was de weaver; dat was all she ...
— Slave Narratives: A Folk History of Slavery in the United States From Interviews with Former Slaves: Volume IV, Georgia Narratives, Part 1 • Works Projects Administration

... Obscure as the truth was, it shone forth before him with all the light of a blinding certainty: Florence also was alive! Humanly and physically speaking, the thing was not possible; but the resurrection of Don Luis was likewise an impossibility; and yet Don Luis was alive, with not a scratch on his face, with not a speck ...
— The Teeth of the Tiger • Maurice Leblanc

... Tour d'Azyr. "A scratch." But his lip writhed, and the torn sleeve of his fine cambric shirt ...
— Scaramouche - A Romance of the French Revolution • Rafael Sabatini

... laughed a little. "You will see many a bandaged arm before the twenty-four hours are up; few of us finish without a scratch or strain or blister. This is a man's game, but it's not half so destructive as foot-ball. You wished me good luck for the Georgia race; will you repeat the honor before I ...
— The Flying Mercury • Eleanor M. Ingram

... the name. "They call you Comfort Paine," she said, "and you are a comfort to everybody else's pain. Yet you ain't out of pain a minute scurcely, yourself. I never see anything like it. If 'twan't wicked I'd say that name was give you by the Old Scratch himself, as a sort of divilish joke. But anybody can see that the Old Scratch never had anything in common with you, even a hand ...
— The Rise of Roscoe Paine • Joseph C. Lincoln

... a start. Verily that was a lucky blast of the bugle! "But I see you have not escaped without a scratch," continued the Sheriff, becoming talkative through pure glee. "Here, one of you men! Give Sir Guy of Gisborne your horse; while others of you bury that dog of an outlaw where he lies. And let us hasten back to Barnesdale ...
— Robin Hood • J. Walker McSpadden

... little unfortunate that Aida should have been given on the night of the Guards' march through London, for the parade of the Pharaoh's scratch soldiery suffered badly by comparison. The priesthood of Isis, too, furnished more humour than could, I think, have been designed, and I doubt if even Mr. WEEDON GROSSMITH could have given us anything funnier than the spectacle presented by the Egyptian monarch ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 156, Apr 2, 1919 • Various

... undeterred, you to the fields must go, You tear your dresses and you scratch your hands; But, in the places where the berries grow, A sweeter fruit the ready sense commands, Of wild, gay feelings, fancies springing sweet,— Of bird-like ...
— At Home And Abroad - Or, Things And Thoughts In America and Europe • Margaret Fuller Ossoli

... "I'm making a statement! He's not only a liar—he's a thief! He robbed me, the dastard; he got two thousand dollars of my money without giving me the scratch of a pen. Oh, ...
— Rimrock Jones • Dane Coolidge

... satisfied both parties that there was nothing to fear from each other, and then the great birds walked down the bank to a broad dry patch of bright yellow sand, which stretched halfway across the bed of the creek. Here the male began to scratch, sending up a shower of coarse sand, and quickly swallowing such large pebbles as were revealed, whilst the female squatted beside him and watched his labours with an air of indifference. Her digestive apparatus was, ...
— "Five-Head" Creek; and Fish Drugging In The Pacific - 1901 • Louis Becke

... box so that the rods or nails cross each other, as in Fig. 17; insert the electromagnet in the circuit; move the coils out a little beyond the ends of the cores, lay a thin iron plate over the ends of the coils, then jar the box upon which the bars, p p, are laid, or drop a pin upon it, or scratch it with a piece of paper, and the sound will be heard by placing the ear against the iron plate resting upon ...
— Scientific American Supplement, No. 794, March 21, 1891 • Various

... simply. "The difference is deep down beneath all we say or do. We're made differently from the start. You felt it the first moment we met, and I did the same. We kinder hated each other, and wanted to scratch! That was instinct! You don't get behind instinct in a hurry. Later on other things come in and muddle one up, but just in the first moment one sees clearly. You thought Elma Ramsden the sweetest thing, and were all fired up to help her, but ...
— Flaming June • Mrs. George de Horne Vaizey

... had noticed Spot's antics. And he hoped to fool him into thinking there was a strange cat around the place. For Spot was a famous chaser of all cats—so long as they kept running away from him and didn't turn around and try to scratch him. ...
— The Tale of Old Dog Spot • Arthur Scott Bailey

... bullet had only grazed me, and the laugh of relief Lowell gave when he raised his head, and said, "Why, it's only a scratch," meant as much to me as though he had rendered me some great service. For it seemed to prove a genuine, friendly concern, and no one, except Laguerre, had shown that for me since I had left home. I had taken ...
— Captain Macklin • Richard Harding Davis

... "The Slum and Cellar, or Whitechapel life Limned after dark!" it made me laugh, I know, And pleased a month, and brought you in ten pounds. —Success I recognize and compliment, And therefore give you, if you choose, three words (The card and pencil-scratch is quite enough) Which whether here, in Dublin or New York, Will get you, prompt as at my eyebrow's wink, Such terms as never you aspired to get In all our own reviews and some not ours. 960 Go write your lively sketches! be ...
— Men and Women • Robert Browning

... beak up and down her cheek. He tolerated black Billy, who fed him, and was respectful to Mr. Linton; but he worshipped Mrs. Brown, the cook, and her appearance at the kitchen door, which he could see from his stand, caused an instant outbreak of cheers and chatter, varied by touching appeals to "scratch Cocky." His chief foe was Mrs. Brown's big yellow cat, who not only dared to share the adored one's affections, but was openly aggressive at times, and loved ...
— A Little Bush Maid • Mary Grant Bruce

... away! come along! The way is wide, the way is long, 170 But what is that for a Bedlam throng? Stick with the prong, and scratch with the broom. The child in the cradle lies strangled at home, And the ...
— The Complete Poetical Works of Percy Bysshe Shelley Volume I • Percy Bysshe Shelley

... to Conquest to get up, scratch another match, and light his cigar at last, turning his back so that it should not be seen that his fingers trembled. When he was sure of himself he faced about again, ...
— The Wild Olive • Basil King

... I been at home in the late unfortunate affair I should have done so; but those I left at home were—I cannot call them men—a poor set of people, and their scuffle with the Big Knives I compared to a struggle between little children who only scratch each other's faces." ...
— Four American Indians - King Philip, Pontiac, Tecumseh, Osceola • Edson L. Whitney

... the witches scratch you, and pinch you, and bite you, don't they? A. Yes. Then he put his hand upon her breast and belly, viz. on the clothes over her, and felt a living thing, as he said; which moved the father also ...
— The Emancipation of Massachusetts • Brooks Adams

... turtles, the lepers become cured.[324-3] The turtles in infinite number come there three months in the year, June, July, and August, from the mainland, which is Ethiopia,[324-4] to lay eggs in the sand and with the claws and legs they scratch places in the sand and spawn more than five hundred eggs, as large as those of a hen except that they have not a hard shell but a tender membrane which covers the yolk, like the membrane which covers the yolk of the hen's egg after taking off the hard shell. They cover the eggs ...
— The Northmen, Columbus and Cabot, 985-1503 • Various

... He has the divil's own luck, that Englishman, annyway; for when they picked him up he hadn't a scratch on him, barrn hwat the pig did to his cloes. Patsy had two fingers out o jynt; but the smith pulled them sthraight for him. Oh, you never heard such a hullaballoo as there was. There was Molly, cryin Me chaney, me beautyful chaney! n oul Mat shoutin Me pig, me pig! n the polus takin the number ...
— John Bull's Other Island • George Bernard Shaw

... wiz my eyes, no! but in my heart I have seen, I know! Then Mere Jeanne run at that woman, that devil; and she pull off her cap and tread it wiz her foot; and she pull out her hair,—never she had much, but since this day none!—and she scratch her face and tear the clothes—ah! Mere Jeanne is mild like a cherub till she is angry, but then— And that devil scream, scream, but no one come, no one care; they are all glad, they laugh to hear. Till Jeannot run in, and catch ...
— Rosin the Beau • Laura Elizabeth Howe Richards

... nut-shell full of the matter of the best sort of small-pox, and asks what veins you please to have opened. She immediately rips open that you offer to her with a large needle (which gives you no more pain than a common scratch), and puts into the vein as much venom as can lie upon the head of her needle, and after binds up the little wound with a hollow bit of shell; and in this manner opens four or five veins. The Grecians have commonly the superstition of opening one in the midde of the forehead, in each arm, and ...
— Lady Mary Wortley Montague - Her Life and Letters (1689-1762) • Lewis Melville

... you to come and see us?" Olga went on. "I think that was much kinder of her than to ask us to dinner. I hate going out to dinner in the country almost as much as I hate not going out to dinner in town. Besides with that great hook nose of hers, I'm always afraid that in an absent moment I might scratch her on the head and say 'Pretty Polly.' Is she a great friend of yours, Mr Pillson? I hope so, because everyone likes his best ...
— Queen Lucia • E. F. Benson

... grange. I have yawned aloud a dozen times, but Eleanor does not mind it. She has been extremely busy with accounts, papers, and letters. For the last four hours I do not think she has spoken a word. I hear nothing but the scratch of her pen as it moves over the paper, and the wind in the ash-trees. I have taken Madge's journal in despair. Ah, Madge! I wish the bonnie girl were here;—how we would talk nonsense by the hour together, just ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 2, Issue 12, October, 1858 • Various

... it isn't that. When they plague you, you scratch; and so they like to tease. If you paid no attention to the thoughtless things they said, they would soon ...
— Tabitha at Ivy Hall • Ruth Alberta Brown

... since Sir J. has been here, more than twelve years, in a large population there has been but one case of murder in a Dyak tribe, and that one was committed by a stranger who had been adopted into the tribe. One wet day I got a piece of string to show them how to play "scratch cradle," and was quite astonished to find that they knew it better than I did and could make all sorts of new figures I had never seen. They were also very clever with tricks with string on their fingers, which seemed ...
— Alfred Russel Wallace: Letters and Reminiscences, Vol. 1 (of 2) • James Marchant

... some fine soaps, and among these a small head, done in white Castile, and so exactly like marble that the Queen doubted the soap story, and in her impulsive, investigating way was about to test it with a scratch of her shawl-pin, when the Yankee exhibitor stayed her hand, and drew forth a courteous apology by the loyal remonstrance—"Pardon, your Majesty,—it is the ...
— Queen Victoria, her girlhood and womanhood • Grace Greenwood

... down, and the banker resumed his perusal of the document, his eye running rapidly over the pages, pausing once in a while to scratch out a word or to make a note on the margin. In the concentration of the man on the task before him the rector read a design, an implication that the affairs of the Church were of a minor importance: sensed, indeed, the new attitude of hostility, gazed upon the undiscovered side, the dangerous ...
— The Crossing • Winston Churchill

... approvingly, as he finished his examination, "but I don't perceive any trace of a scar on either the right or left. Will you go over them, Jervis? The robbery took place a fortnight ago, so there has been time for a small cut or scratch to heal and disappear entirely. Still, the matter ...
— The Red Thumb Mark • R. Austin Freeman

... waver a jot in her demeanour of dignity or in her Royal claims. Only when she is charged with being the daughter of a Prague innkeeper does she allow indignation to master her, as she retorts, "I have never been in Prague in my life, and if I knew who had thus slandered me I would scratch his eyes out." Domanski, too, proves equally intractable; even the promise of marriage to her will not wring from him a word that might discredit ...
— Love affairs of the Courts of Europe • Thornton Hall

... of the pocket the best guide," said Sir Hugo, laughingly. "And as for most of your new-old building, you had need to hire men to scratch and chip it all over artistically to give it an elderly-looking surface; which at the present rate ...
— Daniel Deronda • George Eliot

... with a hard sound rustled upon each other, that young Scott called together his retainers, and addressing them, said—"Look ye, friends, is it not a crying sin and a national shame to see things going aglee as they are doing? There seems hardly such a thing as manhood left upon the Borders. A bit scratch with a pen upon parchment is becoming of more effect than a stroke with the sword. A bairn now stands as good a chance to hold and to have, as an armed man that has a hand to take and to defend. Such a state o' things was only made for those who are ower lazy to ride by night, ...
— Wilson's Tales of the Borders and of Scotland, Volume 2 - Historical, Traditional, and Imaginative • Alexander Leighton

... see me without bruise or scratch. Only Yorick and I got tangled up with a herd of buffaloes on the Kajiar Road. In his fright, the little fool slipped half over the khud, and if a knight-errant had not fallen from heaven, in the nick of time, we should ...
— The Great Amulet • Maud Diver

... gingerbread-bodied Yankee—I'd like to know what you mean about taking whip and hammer to the clock. If you mean to say that I ever did such a thing, I'll lick you now, by the eternal scratch!" ...
— Guy Rivers: A Tale of Georgia • William Gilmore Simms

... scratch. Is Altimira down there with Pico, do you know? He is a brave fellow! I respect that man; but we have an account to settle, and I hope it will be done ...
— The Splendid Idle Forties - Stories of Old California • Gertrude Atherton

... shell in his left thigh. He'd been through the whole campaign without a scratch or a ...
— With Those Who Wait • Frances Wilson Huard

... battle; then he is the first to run away, shaking his plumes like a great yellow prancing cock,[378] while I am left to watch the nets.[379] Once back again in Athens, these brave fellows behave abominably; they write down these, they scratch through others, and this backwards and forwards two or three times at random. The departure is set for to-morrow, and some citizen has brought no provisions, because he didn't know he had to go; he ...
— The Eleven Comedies - Vol. I • Aristophanes et al

... been? What will but felt the fleshly screen? We ride and I see her bosom heave. There's many a crown for who can reach. Ten lines, a stateman's life in each! The flag stuck on a heap of bones, A soldier's doing! what atones? They scratch his name on the Abbey-stones. My riding ...
— Browning's England - A Study in English Influences in Browning • Helen Archibald Clarke

... lion crouches as his foes draw near, Feeding his wrath the while, his lashing tail Provokes his fury; stiff upon his neck Bristles his mane: deep from his gaping jaws Resounds a muttered growl, and should a lance Or javelin reach him from the hunter's ring, Scorning the puny scratch he bounds afield. ...
— Pharsalia; Dramatic Episodes of the Civil Wars • Lucan



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