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scab

scab / skab/ • n. 1. a dry, rough protective crust that forms over a cut or wound during healing. ∎  mange or a similar skin disease in animals. ∎  any of a number of fungal diseases of plants in which rough patches develop, esp. on apples and potatoes. 2. fig. or inf. a person or thing regarded with dislike and disgust. ∎ derog. a person who refuses to strike or to join a labor union or who takes over the job responsibilities of a striking worker. • v. (scabbed , scab·bing ) [intr.] 1. [usu. as adj.] (scabbed) become encrusted or covered with a scab or scabs: she rested her scabbed fingers on his arm. 2. act or work as a scab. DERIVATIVES: scab·like / -ˌlīk/ adj.

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Scab

SCAB

SCAB, a term of opprobrium for one who takes the job of a union worker during a strike. The word was used in 1806 at a trial in Philadelphia, where a journeyman shoemaker testified that when he came to America from England in 1794, the local shoemakers' union notified him that he must either join them or be considered a "scab" and be forbidden to work with union men (see Philadelphia Cordwainers' Case). The word "scab" did not come into public notice until about 1885–1886, when unions were coalescing into great national organizations. Its meaning had to be explained to a congressional committee in the latter year.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Kimeldorf, Howard. Battling for American Labor. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1999.

Alvin F.Harlow/c. w.

See alsoLabor ; Strikes .

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scab

scab
A. †skin disease XIII; cutaneous disease in beasts; crust formed over a wound XIV;

B. low scurvy fellow XVI; non-unionist XIX. — ON. *skabbr (OSw. skabber, Sw. skabb, (O)Da. skab) = OE. sċéabb (see SHABBY). The application to persons may have been due partly to MDu. schabbe slut, scold.
Hence scabby (-Y1) XVI.

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Scab

SCAB

A pejorative term used colloquially in reference to a nonunion worker who takes the place of a union employee on strike or who works for wages and other conditions that are inferior to those guaranteed to a union member by virtue of the union contract.

cross-references

Labor Union.

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scab

scab A general term for any plant disease in which the symptoms include the formation of dry, corky scabs. Examples include apple scab and potato scab. See also STREPTOMYCES.

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scab

scab A general term for any plant disease in which the symptoms include the formation of dry, corky scabs. Examples include apple scab and potato scab.

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scab

scab (skab) n. a hard crust of dried blood, serum, or pus that develops over a sore, cut, or scratch.

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scab

scabblab, cab, confab, crab, Crabbe, dab, drab, fab, flab, gab, grab, jab, kebab, lab, nab, scab, slab, smash-and-grab, stab, tab •Moab • baobab • rehab • pedicab •minicab • taxicab • Skylab

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