Scaphism to Schoolmen
Scaphism Locking up a criminal in the trunk of a tree, bored through so as just to admit the body. Five holes were made- one for the head, and the others for the hands and legs. These parts were anointed with honey to invite the wasps. In this situation the criminal would linger in the burning sun for several days. (Greek, skaphe, anything scooped out.)
Scapin A barber of Seville; a knavish valet who makes his master his tool. (Molière: Les Fourberies de Scapin.)
Scaramouch A braggart and fool, very valiant in words, but a poltroon. According to Dyche, the Italian
posture-master, Tiberio Fiurelli, was surnamed Scaramouch Fiurelli. He came to England in 1673, and
astonished John Bull with feats of agility.
Stout Scaramoucha with rush-lance rode in,
Scaramouch Dress (A), in Molière's time, was black from top to toe; hence he says, Night has put on her `scaramouch dress.'
Scarborough Warning No warning at all; blow first, then warning. In Scarborough robbers used to be
dealt with in a very summary manner by a sort of Halifax gibbet-law, lynch-law, or an à la lanterne. Another
origin is given of this phrase: It is said that Thomas Stafford, in the reign of Queen Mary, seized the castle
of Scarborough, not only without warning, but even before the townsfolk knew he was afoot (1557). (See
Gone Up .)
This term Scarborrow warning grew, some say,
Scarlet Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow (Isa. i. 18). The allusion is to the scarlet fillet tied round the head of the scapegoat. Though your sins be as scarlet as the fillet on the head of the goat to which the high priest has transferred the sins of the whole nation, yet shall they be forgiven and wiped out.
Scarlet (Will). One of the companions of Robin Hood.
Scarlet Woman Some controversial Protestants apply the words to the Church of Rome, and some Romanists, with equal good taste, apply them to London. The Book of Revelation says, It is that great city which reigneth over the kings of the earth, and terms the city Babylon (chap. xvii.).
Scavenger's Daughter An instrument of torture invented by Sir William Skevington, lieutenant of the Tower in the reign of Henry VIII. As Skevington was the father of the instrument, the instrument was his daughter.
Sceatta Anglo-Saxon for money, or a little silver coin. A sceat was an Anglo-Saxon coin.
Scene Painters The most celebrated are-
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