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From scratch

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.

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