That Word: Scroll (19)

That Word is a weekly segment where I post a new word each week. They can be a word I’ve recently discovered, a word I’ve known for a while and gained a clearer idea of it’s meaning or a more common word I’ve wanted to explore in more depth. It’s a post for writers like myself who want to expand their word knowledge or just for people curious about learning more about the words that can make up the English language. This week’s word is…


Where I Discovered It

As it is NaNoWriMo I thought I would share words in my vocabulary that have a connection to writing in some way or form. In that way scroll is more of a choice rather than a discovery to share with you.


1. a role of parchment, paper, copper, or other material, especially one with writing on it

2. something, especially an ornament, resembling a partially unrolled sheet of paper or having a spiral or coiled form.

3. a list, roll, roster or schedule

4. (in Japanese and Chinese art) a painting or text on silk or paper that is either displayed on a wall (hanging scroll) or held by the viewer (hand scroll) and is rolled up when not in use.

5. the curved head of a violin or other bowed instrument.

6. a note, message, or other piece of writing.

7. to cut into a curved form with a narrow-bladed saw.

8.Computers. to move (text) up, down or across a display screen, with new text appearing on the screen as old text disappeared

9.Computers. to move text vertically or horizontally on a display screen in searching for a particular section, line, etc.

acoustic art blur bowed instrument
Photo by Méline Waxx on 


The origin of scroll can be found from 1350 – 1400 in the Middle English scrowle which is a blend of screw, aphetic variant of escrow and rowle roll.

Example Sentences

The Bible was originally written on several scrolls.

He scrolled up as he reached the bottom of the screen.

She gently caressed the scroll of her violin in thought.

My Thoughts

Scroll is not an unusual word. But when I think about it I usually think about ancient documents rather than the shape it forms or in relation to the computer. I have to admit I wasn’t expecting there to be so many definitions for scroll and didn’t expect to have connections to Chinese and Japanese art as well as the violin. Although I have to say the Chinese and Japanese connection makes sense, the way scroll is used to describe a shape

It’s a fairly simple word to pronounce with one syllable. As for it’s use, while common and familiar it’s not necessarily one I think would be used that often. It could be used when talking about computers, phone and scrolling to see further down a page or it could be used in a story set in a time where scrolls were often used. It’s certainly a word with more versatile use than I had imagined when I chose it for todays That Word.

What about you? Have you heard of Scroll? Have you used it before? Do you think you would use it more in the future? Tell me your thoughts in the comments below.

Definitions and Origins are both sourced from

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