Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at YAHOO.COM
Fri Feb 3 20:54:28 UTC 2006

Why, I don't know, but recall the cartoon too. I interpreted it to mean that "scritch" represented a somewhat softer sound.

  The word hasn't entered my active vocabulary though.


"Joanne M. Despres" <jdespres at MERRIAM-WEBSTER.COM> wrote:
  ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
Sender: American Dialect Society
Poster: "Joanne M. Despres"
Subject: Re: "Scritch"

I'm definitely familiar with the sense you describe. It's in my active
vocabulary (perhaps because I was a "Peanuts" reader as a kid).
But it's nowhere to be found in the M-W citation files.

I don't know whether Schultz invented the word, but it seems likely
enough. The only other senses I've found attested in the files were
a dialectal variant of "screech" (in W3) and a noun denoting the
sound of scraping or scratching (as of animal's feet on the hard


On 3 Feb 2006, at 10:41, Jim Parish wrote:

> On another list, a correspondent from the Netherlands was puzzled by
> the word "scritch", meaning the kind of affectionate rubbing/scratching
> one applies to a pet's ears. My first encounter with the word was in a
> Peanuts cartoon in the '60s, in which Charlie Brown demonstrated the
> difference between scritching and scratching to Lucy. Two questions:
> 1) How widely known is the word? (Are other USAn, or non-USAn,
> listmembers familiar with it?)
> 2) Did Charles Schulz actually coin the word?
> Jim Parish
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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