1530s, "to scrawl, scribble," from Dutch schrabbelen, frequentative of schrabben "to scratch," from PIE root *sker- (1) "to cut." Meaning "to struggle, scramble" first recorded 1630s. Related: Scrabbled; scrabbling.
board game, 1949, proprietary name (registered U.S.), probably from scribble-scrabble "hasty writing" (1580s), a reduplication of scribble (n.).
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