Posted by Smokey Stover on March 21, 2006
In Reply to: Scratch paper posted by Smokey Stover on March 21, 2006
: : origin behind scratch paper
: I don't know who coined the phrase "scratch paper", but possibly you want to know why it's called that. Some form of "cratch" or "scratch marks "has long been used for hand-writing. The word "scratch" has also been used slangily for casually putting words on paper that one doesn't necessarily intend to preserve, "jotting" notes, scratching out one's thoughts in a casual manner. So the appropriate paper for that is paper you don't intend to use for anything else, such as paper of poor quality, or paper that has become smudged or dog-eared or partially used before. Scratch pads are sometimes sold for the purpose of those who like to do their scratching on small and handy pieces of paper. Nowadays surplus copies of material emanating from copy machines are useful as scratch paper. SS
"The word "cratch" is not some bizarre adjective applied to bad hand-writing, just a typo for "scratch." .SS.