usingtherightwords

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Scoot vs. Scooter


As I recently drove my daughter to school, we saw a scooter drive past us. My daughter noted that it was scootering past us. I told her that there’s no such word and the word she wanted was scooting.

But that conversation got me thinking. Is scoot the correct word? Isn’t it a slang word?

In checking the dictionary, I discovered that if scoot is a slang word, it’s an awfully old slang word. Scoot goes back to at least 1758 and means “move swiftly.” But it probably goes back further, to Old Norse skjōta meaning “to shoot.”

Scooter, meanwhile, doesn’t go as far back. One dictionary I checked says it goes back to about 1810 (scoot + -er) and another says 1916 to mean “a child’s vehicle that typically has two wheels with a low footboard between them, is steered by a handlebar, and is propelled by pushing one foot against the ground while resting the other on the footboard.”

It’s also short for “motor scooter.”

My daughter often says to me, “Write a blog about it.” OK, sweetie, I did.

Until next time! Use the right words!

leebarnathan.com

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March 18, 2014 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. Hello

    Today I was writing a post on my site, used the word “redressal” and the dictionary flagged it. Amazed, I googled on which dictionary wordpress used and arrived here.

    Your post is nice and as is usual, we learn from our kids. Not being a native English writer, I can’t scoot past your short but interesting article. Good to see Google indexing small posts also.

    Keep writing and I am bookmarking this site

    Comment by tinsukia | March 21, 2014 | Reply


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