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    #1

    scrooge

    In the Wind in the Willows, the mole dig his way up to the ground, and there are four verbs in a row in one word. It is like "he (the mole) scraped, scratched, scrabbled, and scrooged, and he scrooged again and scrabbled and scratched and scraped, working busily with his little paws and muttering to himself ..."

    My question is what "scrooge" is? Thank you!

    Emily


    • Join Date: Aug 2007
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    #2

    Re: scrooge

    This is a very interesting problem. Looking up the definition of scrooge, I find many references to the Charles Dickens story "A Christmas Carol", where the main character is named Ebenezer Scrooge, who is a selfish person who is unwilling to give or spend.

    Scrooge, as a noun, is used to describe someone who has similar characteristics as the aforementioned character, but you ask about scrooge in the form of a verb.

    Looking for it online (using "he scrooged") gives me a lot of pages about the Wind in the Willows, which makes me think it's a phrase coined by the author of this book. If I would have to guess, in this context, it can mean, taking something with all your might, wanting to have something desperately. But that's just a guess.

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    #3

    Re: scrooge

    scrooge =scrouge

    to squeeze

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    #4

    Re: scrooge

    Quote Originally Posted by mochimochi View Post
    scrooge =scrouge

    to squeeze
    Well, you live and learn. Thanks for the link

    b

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    #5

    Re: scrooge

    You're welcom. Online dictionary is really useful.


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    #6

    Re: scrooge

    Good, good! Thank you both!

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    #7

    Re: scrooge

    Here's a further answer that came by email:

    Why the use of the word 'scrooge' as a verb to describe Mole's break from his very clean underground home to the surface of the earth?
    Kenneth Grahame, in "The Wind in the Willows," is introducing the character of Mole via the coinage of a new play-on-words: using 'scrooge' quite wittily as a verb on just the second page.
    Mole is one of the prime characters in this wonderful book. At the very outset, Mr Grahame is astutely and carefully setting up the character of Mole as a clean-freak: Pristine, carefully organized, and scrupulously on a self-
    imposed daily agenda of cleanliness. Basically, Mole has O.C.D. (Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder). Changing him could be ever so much fun for his companions, AND IT IS; every step of the way, for them and for us.
    Mr Grahame is, on page two, very slightly breaking Mole from his tightly-woven, iron-clad O.C.D. problem. Perhaps for the first time, Mole acts upon an impulse. He feels the urgency of spring and is energized by it, overcome by it, bursting with an uncontrollable urge of embracing the very essence of what his soul has been craving, yearning, itching for for such a long, long time: SPRING! And all that it means; even if this goes against Mole's nature.
    Therefore, Mole shreds at least one of his self-imposed rules and digs up for the surface from his sub-earthen abode so as to behold the wonders of earth's annual rebirth. Mr Grahame, in his description of Mole, is poetically and whimsically describing Mole's impulsive act of self-betrayal against his carefully organized and structured previous life-style.
    And how does the author describe this first break-through of Mole's behavioral disorder? By means of poetic style par-excellence. Mole suddenly is overcome by an uncontrollable urge to reach the surface of the earth during the infancy of spring. And how does Kenneth Grahame describe this? Notice: Mole does three things that his kind of creature is innately, instinctively born to do; he 'scrapes,' he 'scratches,' and he 'scrabbles.' But he DOES NOT scrounge! That is out of character for Mole at this point in his life. So what does he do instead? He 'scrooges,' a made-up verb-word that combines scrounge (to dig about with no cost) with scrooge (to obtain something through a ruthless, miserly, and no-waste effort).
    In short, to rise to the top of Mole's new life experiences, he strips off just a tad of his old personality and quite suddenly dons a bit of his new personality; a choice that changes Mole forever, as the rest of the book unfolds and reveals along a captivating and unexpected path; with a bevy of interesting characters to hold Mole to his new life-style, even as he yearns for his old comfortable ways of the past. In spite of it all, Mole is inevitably enraptured by the beginnings of his new social ways and behavior.
    In so many ways, at the outset of "The Wind in the Willows," Mole scrooged his way into a whole new breath-taking adventure. Mole could never truly go back to his old ways, and after reading "Wind in the Willows," neither really can we. If only the 'Wind' had blown Kenneth Grahame into writing a sequel of his beloved characters. But, alas, it seems that we loyal readers are the ones that have been royally scrooged!

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