Q: "scrug", a noun from circa 1676?

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Sat Dec 11 23:08:11 UTC 2010

The latest news:  Not "scrug" at all.  Putting the containing verses
into modern spelling, it reads:

[i]n this our great Adversity
[le]t us Consider what may be
[th]e Case our glorious angry god
[so] heavy on us Lays his rod

[s]ure we our Errand have forgot
[that] makes us feel the heathens' shot
[fo]r not a scurg god's raised to be
[thu]s equals our Cruelty:

Thus "scurge" -- presumably "scourge" -- of god, not "a scrug" (or
"scrog", quarrel, dispute) that the English are in with the
Indians.  Goes along with the "rod" of the previous verse.

This is from Captain Perse & his Coragios Company", by Philip Walker,
ed. with intro. by Diane Bornstein; in Proceedings of the American
Antiquarian Society, April 18, 1973--October 17, 1973, Vol. 83 (1974), page 87.

(The eminent historian of 17th-century New England presumably
transcribed it incorrectly, or let it be misprinted.  And although
the *AAS transcriber* might have transcribed it incorrectly, I think
"scurg[e]" is much more likely than "scrug".  Ah well.)


At 12/3/2010 10:55 PM, Joel S. Berson wrote:
>At 12/3/2010 10:23 PM, John McChesney-Young wrote:
>>Content-Transfer-Encoding: 8bit
>>The EDD s.v. "scrog" sb.^2 offers "A quarrel, dispute."
>Good intuition and/or hunting!  (The EDD also has "Scrug, see
>Scrog(g, sb.").  Not in the OED, which is why my search for "scr?g"
>did not turn it up.
>Since neither "scrog" (in this sense) nor "scrug" is in the OED, when
>I get my quotation it will surely be an antedating!  :-)  And the EDD
>doesn't offer any date or quotations.
>>On Fri, Dec 3, 2010 at 7:12 PM, Joel S. Berson <Berson at att.net> wrote:
>> > Can anyone suggest what "scrug" might be in the following?  A variant
>> > spelling of something?
>> >
>> > After describing an Indian attack in King Philip's War (circa 1676),
>> > an observer wondered "what god in such a scrug Intends"....
>>John McChesney-Young ** Berkeley, California, U.S.A.
>>JMcCYoung~at~gmail.com ** http://twitter.com/jmccyoung **
>>The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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