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What's the scoop?

Posted by James Briggs on November 28, 2008 at 11:14

In Reply to: What's the scoop? posted by Kim Farmer on November 28, 2008 at 10:53:

: How can I find the origin of the phrase "What's the scoop?" I can't find the answer anywhere.

Just a guess. It could be related to newpaper publishing jargon. A 'scoop' is a hot piece of news that no other media outlet has yet discovered. However, a scepital editor might queery the worth of the item with your expression.

From the Online Etymological Dictionary.
c.1330, "utensil for bailing out" (n.), also (v.) "to bail out;" from M.Du. schope "bucket for bailing water," from W.Gmc. *skopo (cf. M.L.G. schope "ladle"), from P.Gmc. *skop-, from PIE *(s)kep- "to cut, to scrape, to hack." Also from Low Ger. scheppen (v.) "to draw water," from P.Gmc. *skuppon, from PIE root *skub- (cf. O.E. sceofl "shovel," O.S. skufla; see shove). The journalistic sense of "news published before a rival" is first recorded 1874, Amer.Eng., from earlier commercial slang sense of "appropriate so as to exclude competitors" (c.1850)."