Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.

EXAMPLES FROM THE WEB FOR SCORES

In a similar way I am, or I have been, trustee of one kind or other for scores of our customers.

There were scores entered in the race, and that insured a good attendance at the event.

I have scores of your letters, my dear mother, to that effect.

It will all be remembered to him when we come to settle our scores.

I have told you scores of times you are the cleverest woman in the kingdom.

The Germans were caught in this tide and scores of them were drowned.

Scores of times did I visit the cottage where the world-famous poet was born.

"'Tis a pity, on some scores, to dispose so utterly of this Caryll," she said.

Scores of them were succumbing to hunger and cold every day.

Scores of examples of similar nature to these might easily be collected.

WORD ORIGIN

late Old English scoru "twenty," from Old Norse skor "mark, notch, incision; a rift in rock," also, in Icelandic, "twenty," from Proto-Germanic *skura-, from PIE root *(s)ker- "to cut" (see shear).

The connecting notion probably is counting large numbers (of sheep, etc.) with a notch in a stick for each 20. That way of counting, called vigesimalism, also exists in French: In Old French, "twenty" (vint) or a multiple of it could be used as a base, e.g. vint et doze ("32"), dous vinz et diz ("50"). Vigesimalism was or is a feature of Welsh, Irish, Gaelic and Breton (as well as non-IE Basque), and it is speculated that the English and the French picked it up from the Celts. Cf. tally (n.).

The prehistoric sense of the Germanic word, then, likely was "straight mark like a scratch, line drawn by a sharp instrument," but in English this is attested only from c.1400, along with the sense "mark made (on a chalkboard, etc.) to keep count of a customer's drinks in a tavern." This sense was extended by 1670s to "mark made for purpose of recording a point in a game or match," and thus "aggregate of points made by contestants in certain games and matches" (1742, originally in whist).

From the tavern-keeping sense comes the meaning "amount on an innkeeper's bill" (c.1600) and thus the figurative verbal expression settle scores (1775). Meaning "printed piece of music" first recorded 1701, said to be from the practice of connecting related staves by scores of lines. Especially "music composed for a film" (1927). Meaning "act of obtaining narcotic drugs" is by 1951.

Scoreboard is from 1826; score-keeping- from 1905; newspaper sports section score line is from 1965; baseball score-card is from 1877.

MORE RELATED WORDS FOR SCORES

Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.