Online Encyclopedia


Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V24, Page 526 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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SCYTHE, an implement for mowing grass or reaping corn or grain, consisting of a curved steel blade fastened to a long wooden handle with a slight double curve from which project two small pieces by which the handle is held. The handle is technically known as the " snathe," " sned " or " snead " (sncedan to cut, cf. Ger. schneiden). The word in O.E. is sine or sil2e M.E. sithe; the mis-spelling " scythe " is paralleled by " scent," and is possibly due to, the Fr. scier, saw; the word means " an instrument for cutting," and is derived from the root sak-, seen in Lat. secare, to cut, " saw " and " sickle," the oldest of reaping implements, with deep curved blade and short handle. The same root is seen in the " sedge," i.e. cutting or sword-grass, strictly applied to plants of the genus Carex, but loosely used of flags, rushes and other grasses growing in marshy places (see REAPING).
End of Article: SCYTHE

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