Etymology
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grater (n.)
instrument for scraping (bread, ginger, etc.), late 14c., from Old French grateor, agent noun from grater "to scrape, scratch out or off" (see grate (v.)).
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grate (v.)
"to scrape, rub," late 14c. (implied in grated), from Old French grater "to scrape, scratch (out or off); erase; destroy, pull down" (Modern French gratter), from Frankish *kratton, from Proto-Germanic *krattojan (source also of Old High German krazzon "to scratch, scrape," German kratzen "to scratch," Swedish kratta, Danish kratte "to rake, scrape"), probably of imitative origin. Senses of "sound harshly," and "annoy" are mid-16c. Italian grattare also is from Germanic. Related: Grated; grating.
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rut (n.1)

"narrow track worn or cut in the ground," as by a passing wheeled vehicle, 1570s, probably from Middle English route "way, a road, space for passage" (see route (n.)); though OED finds this "improbable." If so, it is a doublet of route.

Of the lines on the face by 1620s. The figurative meaning "narrow, monotonous routine; habitual mode of behavior or procedure" is attested by 1839 (Carlyle); earlier figurative use was as an obstacle to rapid transit (1705).

Enter an OLD LADY.
[Bosola] You come from painting now.
Old Lady. From what?
Bos. Why, from your scurvy face-physic.
To behold thee not painted, inclines somewhat near
A miracle: these in thy face here, were deep ruts,
And foul sloughs, the last progress.
There was a lady in France, that having the small-pox,
Flay'd the skin off her face, to make it more level;
And whereas before she looked like a nutmeg-grater,
After she resembled an abortive hedgehog.
[Webster, "The Duchess of Malfi"]

The verb meaning "mark with or as with ruts" is by c. 1600. Related: Rutted; rutting.

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