scale

English has three separate words scale. The oldest, ‘pan of a balance’ [13], was borrowed from Old Norse skál ‘bowl, drinking cup’ (ancestor of Swedish skåal, from which English gets the toast skol [16]). This was descended from a Germanic base *skal-, *skel-, *skul-, denoting ‘split, divide, peel’, which also produced English scalp, shell, shelter, shield, skill, probably skull, and also scale ‘external plate on fish, etc’ [14]. This second scale was borrowed from Old French escale, which itself was acquired from prehistoric Germanic *skalō – another derivative of *skal-. Its modern German descendant, schale, is the probable source of English shale [18]. The third scale, which originally meant ‘ladder’ [15], came from Latin scāla ‘ladder’, a descendant of the same base as Latin scandere ‘climb’, from which English gets ascend, descend, scan, and scandal. (In modern French scāla has evolved to échelle, whose derivative échelon has given English echelon [18].) The modern meanings of the word, variations on the theme ‘system of graduations used for measuring’, are metaphorical extensions of the original ‘ladder, steps’. Its use as a verb, meaning ‘climb’, goes back to the medieval Latin derivative scālāre. => SCALP, SHELL, SHELTER, SHIELD, SKILL, SKOL, SKULL; SHALE; ASCEND, DESCEND, ECHELON, SCAN, SCANDAL
* * *
   In the senses 'horny body covering' and 'weighing instrument,' the word is Germanic in origin, from a source that also gave shell. In the senses 'set of graded points' and 'to climb,' the origin is in Latin scala, 'ladder.'

The Hutchinson dictionary of word origins. 2013.

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  • SCALE-UP — is a learning environment specifically created to facilitate active, collaborative learning in a studio like setting. Some people think the rooms look more like restaurants than classrooms [ J. Gaffney, E. Richards, M.B. Kustusch, L. Ding, and R …   Wikipedia

  • scale — scale1 [skāl] n. [ME < LL scala (in Vulg., Jacob s ladder) < L, usually as pl., scalae, flight of stairs, ladder < * scandsla < scandere, to climb: see DESCEND] 1. Obs. a) a ladder or flight of stairs b) any means of ascent 2 …   English World dictionary

  • Scale — Scale, n. [Cf. AS. scealu, scalu, a shell, parings; akin to D. schaal, G. schale, OHG. scala, Dan. & Sw. skal a shell, Dan. ski[ae]l a fish scale, Goth. skalja tile, and E. shale, shell, and perhaps also to scale of a balance; but perhaps rather… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • scale — Ⅰ. scale [1] ► NOUN 1) each of the small overlapping plates protecting the skin of fish and reptiles. 2) a thick dry flake of skin. 3) a white deposit formed in a kettle, boiler, etc. by the evaporation of water containing lime. 4) tartar formed… …   English terms dictionary

  • Scale — Scale, n. [L. scalae, pl., scala staircase, ladder; akin to scandere to climb. See {Scan}; cf. {Escalade}.] 1. A ladder; a series of steps; a means of ascending. [Obs.] [1913 Webster] 2. Hence, anything graduated, especially when employed as a… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Scale — (sk[=a]l), n. [AS. sc[=a]le; perhaps influenced by the kindred Icel. sk[=a]l balance, dish, akin also to D. schaal a scale, bowl, shell, G. schale, OHG. sc[=a]la, Dan. skaal drinking cup, bowl, dish, and perh. to E. scale of a fish. Cf. {Scale}… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Scale — Scale, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Scaled}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Scaling}.] To weigh or measure according to a scale; to measure; also, to grade or vary according to a scale or system. [1913 Webster] Scaling his present bearing with his past. Shak. [1913… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Scale — Scale, v. t. 1. To strip or clear of scale or scales; as, to scale a fish; to scale the inside of a boiler. [1913 Webster] 2. To take off in thin layers or scales, as tartar from the teeth; to pare off, as a surface. If all the mountains were… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Scale — Scale, v. t. [Cf. It. scalare, fr. L. scalae, scala. See {Scale} a ladder.] To climb by a ladder, or as if by a ladder; to ascend by steps or by climbing; to clamber up; as, to scale the wall of a fort. [1913 Webster] Oft have I scaled the craggy …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Scale-up —   [skeɪl ʌp, englisch] das, , Bezeichnung für die Maßstabsvergrößerung bei Anlagen der Verfahrenstechnik. Nach der häufig angewandten Ähnlichkeitstheorie werden bei der Übertragung von Laborergebnissen in den großtechnischen Maßstab möglichst… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • scale — [n1] graduated system calibration, computation, degrees, extent, gamut, gradation, hierarchy, ladder, order, pecking order*, progression, proportion, range, ranking, rate, ratio, reach, register, rule, scope, sequence, series, spectrum, spread,… …   New thesaurus

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