Greetings all.  Sorry I missed my “There’s a Word for That” post last week.  One of my recent blogging hurdles is that I spent a week in a location where internet access was VERY expensive, and I am too cheap to shell out the big bucks for things I think should be free.

The Little Mermaid and Scuttle, the bird

Anyway, on with the show.  I loved all the comments with your thoughts on the definition of the word Scuttle.  Here I thought I was going to be original in my association of the word with the bird in the little Mermaid movie.  I guess we children of the 90’s (and moms of the 00’s) all think alike.  My other “personal” definition was to move like a crab, which many of you mentioned as well.

So, it turns out that Scuttle is a pretty diverse little word, and even though all of the comment definitions were correct, there are even MORE uses for Scuttle.

Meriam Webster has FIVE definitions for Scuttle:

A paint scuttle

1 : a shallow open basket for carrying something (as grain or garden produce)
2 : a metal pail that usually has a bail and a sloped lip and is used especially for carrying coal

Noun (2):
1 : a small opening in a wall or roof furnished with a lid: as a : a small opening or hatchway in the deck of a ship large enough to admit a person and with a lid for covering it b : a small hole in the side or bottom of a ship fitted with a covering or glazed
2 : a covering that closes a scuttle


A boat scuttle

1 : a quick shuffling pace
2 : a short swift run

: to cut a hole through the bottom, deck, or side of (a ship); specifically : to sink or attempt to sink by making holes through the bottom

1: to scurry

Wikipedia gives us a much more manageable list of uses:

Scuttle may refer to:

  • Scuttling, deliberately sinking a ship by allowing water in

    A shaving scuttle

  • Coal scuttle, a bucket-like container for coal
  • Shaving scuttle, a teapot-like container for hot water
  • Scuttle, a fictional character in Disney’s The Little Mermaid
  • Scuttle software, web-based collaborative bookmarking software (GNU GPL)
  • Scuttle, a fight between rival territorial gangs in Manchester during the 1860s to the 1890s.
  • Scuttle shake, a phenomenon experienced in some convertible cars

I wonder which one of these Ariel’s winged friend was named after?

Word Origin: Middle English scutel, from Latin scutella drinking bowl, tray, diminutive of scutra platter. Date: 15th century

By the way, Jill, I could do a whole new post on the word Scuttlebutt, but I won’t.  Briefly, it can mean anything from a flask of water kept on the deck of a ship, to a drinking fountain, to a rumor.