Tag Archives: etymology of scoop

Cassidese Glossary – Scoop

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.

This is another claim made by Daniel Cassidy in his huge etymological hoax, 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.

Scuab is plainly an irrelevance here.