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Sky scraper
Scott Bennett
Grattacielo: Skyscraper
Acrylic on canvas

The Italian word grattacielo - in use since the early 13th century - means scraping the sky, from the verb grattare "to scrape" and the noun cielo "sky". Traditionally, "skyscraper" referred to anything that stood out, a tall man, a high-standing horse, a sail at the top of a mast etc.

The word scraper dates back to the Old Norse word skrapa, which means to erase. In the modern usage, a skyscraper essentially erases the sky by sticking out and blocking it.

When I first heard the word as a child I always imagined it meant that the tops of the buildings were sticking up so high that they were literally scraping the sky.

The painting is of the fields directly behind my cottage as a thunderstorm swept above the freshly scraped* gorse crowned hilltop.