From Scratch Meaning


From Scratch Meaning

Are you itchy? To you scratch your itch? Sometimes it is not good to scratch something that itches.  We have many phases and idioms to talk about itching and scratching. The expressions include come up to scratch, scratch golfer, to the scratch (similar to toe the line), make from scratch and start from scratch.

The origins of this idiom come from the group of sport idioms, where scratch has been used since the late 1700’s to describe a starting line that was etched or scratched into the ground. The term starts from scratch came from the idea that no one has an advantage – starting from nothing. 

Meaning of From Scratch:

There are basically two popular ways we use from scratch:

 1. Make from Scratch

When use this phase it is used to indicate that we start from the beginning with basic raw ingredients. This is often used when we talk about baking or cooking. However, it could also refer to non-food items.

  • Rather than buy a cake for his birthday I will make it from scratch.
  • We will make the face cream from scratch this way we know all of the ingredients are natural.

2. Start from Scratch

When a person does or starts something from scratch they are creating something completely new, rather than using something that already exists.

  • The design of the house did not pass the inspection of the architect so we decided to go back to the drawing board and start from scratch.
  • The house was in pieces after the earthquake. Rather than try and use what was left of the house, we decided to start from scratch and make it more earthquake resistant.

Dialog 1 (Make from Scratch):

Bill: Sue, I was wondering what you wanted to do for your birthday, where did you want to go?

Sue: Hmmm. I not sure I am in the mood to go out. I would prefer staying home and having a romantic dinner with you.

Bill: Oh …. Great. I think that would be good. I can cook for you! What would you like.

Sue: Hmmm something Italian, like pasta.

Bill: OK I will make some fettuccini from scratch all fresh ingredients and gluten free as I get the winds from the glue tin. Those farts are not very romantic!

Sue: Ha-ha… Funny. Sounds delicious, I always prefer pasta from scratch.

Dialog 2 (Start from Scratch):

Shelly: Hey Gary do you have minute I would like to talk to you about the Pineapple project.

GarySure what’s up.

Shelly: Well everything is a mess with the phone and nothing seems to be going right.

Gary: Yeah, I heard that in the last update meeting. The team seems to be really struggling and they just don’t seem to be getting along.

Shelly: Yeah, that is only just one of many issues. I think we need to scrap the project and start from scratch.

Gary: Yeah, I don’t to see what has been done go to waste. However, I think we are sinking time and resources into a sinking ship!

Shelly: Yep. There are too many holes and they there are more holes springing up every day.

Gary: OK. Got it lets let the team know everyone will be dispended, we will start from scratch on Monday.

Other words you can create: noun, verb, adjective, adverb, etc. (ex: mug – mugger)









starting point


Bake something from scratch; 

Do something from scratch; 

Make something from scratch; 

Start (something) from scratch;

Related Phrasal Verbs:

One more time- when we use this phrase we are saying we are going to do something again.

Over again- in the context of from scratch, it means to do something again but differently and better because the first time was not done correctly.

From the beginning- to start from conception or inception again.

Start over- to go back to the beginning do something again.

Related idioms:

From square one- when we start from square one we start from the very beginning and usually a new beginning.

  • We need to go back to square one and scrape everything and start from scratch, there are too many mistakes.

Fresh Start- a fresh start is when we have a new beginning.

  • I believe the best thing to do is throw out the initial law, look at a fresh start and make a new one from scratch.

Clean slate- when we use this term in the context of from scratch, we are saying that we want to go back to the beginning and forget what was done or said.

  • We need a clean slate with a new group of managers. Let’s start from scratch and hire from outside to insure there is no inside influence.

Synonyms (other ways to say):

Start from scratch

Make from scratch

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