Etymology
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scape (n.1)

"scenery view," 1773, abstracted from landscape (n.); -scape as a combining element in word formation is attested by 1796, in prisonscape.

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scape (v.)

early 13c., scapen, "to escape (siege, battle, etc.), depart from (confinement, etc.)," a shortened form of escape; frequent in prose up to late 17c. By late 14c. in the general sense "avoid death, peril, punishment, or other danger." Related: Scaped (sometimes 15c.-16c. with strong past tense scope); scaping. As a noun from c. 1300, "an escape."

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scape (n.2)

in botany, "shaft, stem," c. 1600, from Latin scapus "a stalk, shaft," cognate with Greek skapos "staff," skēptron "staff, scepter" (see scepter).

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moonscape (n.)

"the landscape of the moon or a surface resembling it," 1926, from moon (n.) + scape (n.1).

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scapegrace (n.)

"man of reckless or disorderly habits," 1767, from scape (v.) + grace (n.); as if it meant "one who escapes the grace of God." Possibly influenced by scapegoat.

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scullion (n.)

"low-ranking domestic servant who performs menial kitchen tasks," late 15c., sculioun, scwlioun, perhaps, with substitution of suffix, from Anglo-French sculier, a variant of Old French escuelier, from escouve "broom, twig," from Latin scopa (plural scopæ) "broom," related to scapus "shaft, stem" (see scape (n.2)). Or it might be an alteration of Old French souillon "scullion" (but this is not attested before 16c.), by influence of scullery. "The word is now generally associated in thought with scullery, which is, however, of different origin" [Century Dictionary].

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scapegoat (n.)

1530, "goat sent into the wilderness on the Day of Atonement as a symbolic bearer of the sins of the people," coined by Tyndale from scape, a shortening of escape (see scape (v.)) + goat; the whole word translating Latin caper emissarius, itself a translation in Vulgate of Hebrew 'azazel (Leviticus xvi.8, 10, 26), which was read as 'ez ozel "goat that departs," but which others hold to be the proper name of a devil or demon in Jewish mythology (sometimes identified with Canaanite deity Aziz).

Jerome's reading was followed by Martin Luther (der ledige Bock), Symmachus (tragos aperkhomenos), and others (compare French bouc émissaire), but the question of who, or what (or even where) is meant by 'azazel is a vexed one. The Revised Version (1884) simply restores Azazel. But the old translation has its modern defenders:

Azazel is an active participle or participial noun, derived ultimately from azal (connected with the Arabic word azala, and meaning removed), but immediately from the reduplicate form of that verb, azazal. The reduplication of the consonants of the root in Hebrew and Arabic gives the force of repetition, so that while azal means removed, azalzal means removed by a repetition of acts. Azalzel or azazel, therefore, means one who removes by a series of acts. ... The interpretation is founded on sound etymological grounds, it suits the context wherever the word occurs, it is consistent with the remaining ceremonial of the Day of Atonement, and it accords with the otherwise known religious beliefs and symbolical practices of the Israelites. [Rev. F. Meyrick, "Leviticus," London, 1882]

The transferred meaning "one who is blamed or punished for the mistakes or sins of others" is recorded by 1824; the verb is attested by 1884. Related: Scapegoated; scapegoating.

For the formation, compare scapegrace (which is perhaps modeled on this word), also scape-gallows "one who deserves hanging," scapethrift "spendthrift" (mid-15c.).

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