Posted by R. Berg on March 31, 2001
In Reply to: From scratch posted by Cathryn on March 31, 2001
: Can anyone tell me about the derivation of the term "from scratch," as in a cake baked from scratch or something built from scratch. Thanks for your help!
It means "from the beginning" and comes from the scratch line that marks the starting point in a footrace. More detail from the Word Detective, below.