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Perhaps related to Norwegian skragg (a lean person), dialectal Swedish skragge (old and torn thing), Danish skrog (hull, carcass); perhaps related to shrink.


scrag ‎(plural scrags)

  1. (archaic) A thin or scrawny person or animal. [from the 16th c.]
  2. (archaic) The lean end of a neck of mutton; the scrag end.
  3. (archaic) The neck, especially of a sheep.
  4. (Scotland) A scrog.
  5. (Australia, slang, derogatory) A rough or unkempt woman.
    • 1998 June 9, Shane, “feed up with noise in cinemas”, aus.films, Usenet:
      The large guy said that he couldnt sit down the front because of an eye condition, and she said,out loud, "too bad, go down the front".
      This was all heard by most of the crowd, 1 guy called her a bitch, i spoke out loud "what a scrag"  which her boyfriend heard, he turned around agro like to defend her, when another guy yelled out "if you get agro about that son, ill be over there to show your girlfriend some manners", to which he promplty sat down :-), but after that she put her feet up on the seat in front of her !!
    • 1999 December 18, Kenny, “The Observer AND the Times: Episode 3.7 Revelations”,, Usenet:
      Post scrag fight, Buffy is sweetness and light in her cardy and teeny tiny handbag (plus blonde hair) contrasting with Faith who is lying in bed with her kill-me-thrill-me cutoff shorts (plus brunette hair).
    • 2003 June 2, Peter Lucas, “The Chief takes a hit”, alt.ozdebate, Usenet:
      Get a life, you stupid scrag.
  6. A ragged, stunted tree or branch.


scrag ‎(third-person singular simple present scrags, present participle scragging, simple past and past participle scragged)

  1. (obsolete, colloquial) To hang on a gallows, or to strangle or garotte or choke.
    • Pall Mall Magazine
      An enthusiastic mob will scrag me to a certainty the day war breaks out.
  2. To harass, to manhandle.
    • 1958, P. G. Wodehouse, Cocktail Time, Chapter 15
      '...I urged him ... to ... try the Ickenham System ... a little thing I knocked together in my bachelor days ... it has a good many points in common with all-in wrestling and osteopathy. I generally recommend it to diffident wooers and it always works like magic...'
      Johnny stared.
      'You mean you told McMurdo to ... scrag her?'
  3. To kill or destroy.
    • 2009, Steve Augarde, Celandine[1], ISBN 0440422167, page 162:
      But they'll scrag you for it, you know, if you do. They scrag anyone who speaks to me.