Thursday, April 7, 2011

Scosthrop (vb.)

To make vague opening or cutting movements with the hands when wandering about looking for a tin opener, scissors, etc., in the hope that this will help in some way.



  1. When my kids were younger, we found the Book of Liff. The only word I remember is scosthrop, which comes in useful when the name scissors or staple puller, etc, has for no reason whatsoever left my mind, and I find myself wandering around making movements with my fingers.

    I discovered that "throp" or "thorp" is Old English for village, while I was on a spell check search for the word describing a herd of fairies, either troupe or troop. That brought back the whole scosthrop thing.

    What neural firing causes this behavior, which is common enough that folks recognize it when reading about scosthropping? In those moments, I can remember "scosthrop," but not "scissors." Why? because it's a verb? and the act of moving my fingers is a physical verb, and I have a noun-gap in my brain?

    Scosthrop is a village in Yorkshire, quite near to Giggleswick, see map at

    Thanks so much for loving The Meaning of Liff!

    1. Hi Edie,

      Glad you like my little attempt at bringing Liff to everyone.

      About the location of each village, I link the name of each word in every post to a map where the village is located.
      (the link is a bit smaller, located under the description of each word)