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Scratch

Old Scratch. Scrat, the house-demon of the North. (Icelandic, scratti, an imp.) (See Deuce, Nick , etc.)

Scratch

(A). One who in a race starts from the scratch, other runners in the same race being a yard or so in advance. The scratch runner generally is one who has already won a similar race.

Coming up to the scratch
up to the mark; about to do what we want him to do. In prize-fighting a line is scratched on the ground, and the toe of the fighter must come up to the scratch.

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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