Scythe vs. Sythe

By Jaxson

  • Scythe

    A scythe () is an agricultural hand tool for mowing grass or reaping crops. It has largely been replaced by horse-drawn and then tractor machinery, but is still used in some areas of Europe and Asia.

    The word “scythe” derives from Old English siðe. In Middle English and after it was usually spelt sithe or sythe. However, in the 15th century some writers began to use the sc- spelling as they thought (wrongly) the word was related to the Latin scindere (meaning “to cut”). Nevertheless, the sithe spelling lingered and notably appears in Noah Webster’s dictionaries.

    A scythe consists of a shaft about 170 centimetres (67 in) long called a snaith, snath, snathe or sned, traditionally made of wood but now sometimes metal. Simple snaiths are straight with offset handles, others have an “S” curve or are steam bent in three dimensions to place the handles in an ergonomic configuration but close to shaft. The snaith has either one or two short handles at right angles to it, usually one near the upper end and always another roughly in the middle. The handles are usually adjustable to suit the user. A curved, steel blade between 60 to 90 centimetres (24 to 35 in) long is mounted at the lower end at 90°, or less, to the snaith. Scythes almost always have the blade projecting from the left side of the snaith when in use, with the edge towards the mower; left-handed scythes are made but cannot be used together with right-handed scythes as the left-handed mower would be mowing in the opposite direction and could not mow in a team.

  • Scythe (noun)

    An instrument for mowing grass, grain, or the like, by hand, composed of a long, curving blade, with the concave edge sharped, made fast to a long handle, called a snath.

  • Scythe (noun)

    A scythe-shaped blade attached to ancient war chariots.

  • Scythe (noun)

    The tenth Lenormand card.

  • Scythe (verb)

    To cut with a scythe; to cut off as with a scythe; to mow.

  • Scythe (verb)

    To attack or injure as if cutting.

  • Scythe (noun)

    a tool used for cutting crops such as grass or corn, with a long curved blade at the end of a long pole attached to one or two short handles.

  • Scythe (verb)

    cut with a scythe

    “the grass was scythed at regular intervals”

    “you may want hardy infantry troops to scythe down the opposition”

    “the first job was to scythe paths through the nettles”

  • Scythe (verb)

    move through or penetrate something rapidly and forcefully

    “attacking players can scythe through defences”

Oxford Dictionary

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