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of obscure origin
(From E-NED: The conjecture that it is from Old French escroele, scrofulous sore, is not quite satisfactory as to form, and the assumed development of sense, though plausible, has no evidence.)
From: American Notes and Queries
A Medium of Intercommunication for Literary Men, General Readers, Etc.
Vol. II. No. 3. Saturday, November 18, 1888.
Curious English. P. 30