This is another claim made by Daniel Cassidy in his monumental waste of time, How The Irish Invented Slang. Cassidy says that scoop, as in to scoop something up or to have an exclusive news story comes from the Irish scuab, meaning a brush or broom. On the face of it, this looks reasonable enough, until you look at the history of the word scoop in English. According to the dictionaries, scoop is first recorded in English in the early 1300s. Here’s a quote from Robert Mannyng, who died in 1338 – ‘Þen to-ward þe kyng Merlyn gan turne: Do scope þis water, & turn þe borne.’ (Then to the king Merlin turned: Scoop this water, and turn the burn.) It is related to Germanic words like Old High German scephan and Dutch schoep. From the start, it had meanings related to bailing out water, ladling, scooping things up, while the Irish term is about sweeping or brushing.

Of course, all the dictionary makers could be lying and all of them might have forged the Medieval documents that these claims are based on because of their anti-Irish bigotry, along with all the evidence from German and Dutch. Or, – here’s a thought – perhaps it was Daniel Cassidy who was making everything up …


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