For some time now, some of my on-line friends have advised me to provide a version of CassidySlangScam without the invective aimed at Cassidy and his supporters. In response to that advice, I am working on providing a glossary of the terms in Cassidy’s ludicrous book How The Irish Invented Slang with a short, simple and business-like explanation of why Cassidy’s version is wrong.
In Daniel Cassidy’s etymological hoax, How The Irish Invented Slang, Cassidy claims that the verb to scrounge is a back-formation from the noun scrounger, which he claims derives from a supposed Irish phrase scrabhadh an tír, meaning ‘scrape the country’. Of course, there is no evidence for the existence of this phrase and it is obviously a Cassidy invention, as it doesn’t make sense in terms of the grammar of the language. It would have to be scrabhadh na tíre (pronounced scrowoo na cheera). Furthermore, scrabhadh is not the most common expression for scraping or scratching. Both scríobadh and scrábadh are far more common and neither of these would sound anything like scrounge.
Back in reality, scrounge is thought to be a variant of scrunge, a known English dialect term for stealing.