Thursday, December 27, 2012


scarify [ˈskær əˌfaɪ] v.t.

1.) To make shallow cuts in (the skin), as when vaccinating.
2.) To create a design on (the skin) by means of shallow cuts that are sometimes rubbed with a colorant or irritant to enhance the resulting scar tissue.
3.) To break up the surface of (topsoil or pavement).
4.) To distress deeply, as with severe criticism; lacerate.
5.) Botany. To slit or soften the outer coat of (seeds) in order to speed germination (American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language).

Etymology: Middle English scarifien, from Old French scarifier, from Late Latin scarificare, alteration of Latin scarifare, from Greek σκαρῑϕᾶσθαι, recorded in the senses ‘to scratch an outline, sketch lightly, to do anything slightly or slovenly’ from σκάρῑϕος, pencil, stylus.

"Critics continue to disagree about the tone and meaning of Troilus and Cressida. The modern theatre has decided firmly, and surely rightly, that the play is a brilliant but scarifying vision of a world in pieces, all value and coherence gone. Despite its energy and wit, the picture of man which it presents is pessimistic almost to the point of nihilism" ("General Introduction" to The Riverside Shakespeare, Anne Barton, 1974).

(Eine Szene vom Troilus und Cressida, Angelica Kauffman, 1789)

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