Origin of English word SCRUFF

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English Word


Edenic Word


Hebrew Word









The SCRUFF is the back or nape of the neck. Webster's links SCRUFF to Old Norse skopt or to the Indo-European base sque-p, which mean hair or a tuft. The AHD serenely declares "origin unknown."

Decapitate the S before the C, as usual, to expose the ערף [O]ReF or GHoReF (neck - Leviticus5:8). More at SCOOP.  In Jeremiah2:27, the (new) JPS rendition is "to Me they turned their backs, not their faces."  The back of the neck is clearly the intent here with ערף Ayin-Resh-Phey / GH-R-F.  In Exodus 23:27, the enemy gives you their ערף GHoReF (“back”) in that they are running away.  The foil to Ruth is Naomi’s other daughter-in-law ערפה Orpah (from our same scruff root), as she is the one who walks away and shows her back (Ruth 1:14) . ערף    [O]ReF is the neck, while ערף [A]RahF is to break the neck (Exodus 13:13).

The Edenic front of the neck, the throat, also begins with guttural-liquid – see גרון GaRoaN at GROAN. 


Just like the verb to uproot uses the same letters as the noon meaning a “root,” so Ayin-Resh-Phey (scruff of neck) also forms the verb meaning to decapitate or break the neck - Deuteronomy21:4). Farmers don't decapitate CROPS, but to CROP off anything is to chop it off near the top. A bird's CROP is an enlargement on its neck.

CERVIX is the Latin neck, “especially the back of the neck” (Webster’s). Hard CRV is another Ayin-Resh-Phey – see CERVIX. (S)CROFULA is from Latin scrofulae (swellings of the neck glands). The 2-letter root bottlenecks down to G/K-R/L (guttural-liquid) as  GaRGeReT is the windpipe and GHOAL is a yoke or collar. Most Indo-European words for NECK are CL, HL or KR terms, but Arabic raqaba is a #1-#2 letter flip of GHoReF. The vowel Ayin of [O]RePH allows for Japanese eri (collar, neck). With a soft Ayin, Basque has a neck word to fit [O]RePH, lepo (Resh → L). TZaVAhR (front of the neck) is eztarri in Basque. Irish b rage , neck, is an  M321 metahesis or full reversal of our Ayin-Resh-Phey, with a bilabial shift from  Phey/PH to B.   

See "CRAVAT," GIRAFFE, and SCARF.  For the bogus initial-S, see SCALLOP.

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