Commonly Confused Words: Scraping vs. Scrapping

Is grammar getting you down so that you’re barely scraping by? Are you ready to throw in the towel and consider scrapping your writing project? Don’t be dismayed! Scraping vs. scrapping might look like similar words, but with a little practice, you will know when to use each of them.

Scraping vs. Scrapping at a Glance

  • Scraping, which comes from the word scrape, means removing material from a surface. In a more modern context, scraping often refers to the process of extracting data from websites with automated software tools. 
  • Scrapping comes from the word scrap and usually refers to junking a project or getting rid of an object, like scrapping an old car at a salvage yard. The term can also mean fighting, usually in an uncontrolled way.

When To Use Scraping

When you think of scraping, think of removal. Web scraping removes data, while physically scraping something removes material from the surface. Both forms of scraping are methods of removal; the difference is that one is digital, and the other is physical.

There are also two common idioms that use scraping: scraping by and scraping the bottom of the barrel. Both of these idioms imply hardship.

When you’re scraping the bottom of the barrel, the implication is that you’re choosing from poor options, or whatever is left over at the bottom of a barrel of provisions.

If you’re just scraping by, you’re struggling to succeed.

Scraping Examples:

  • Michael wrote software for scraping websites.
  • I used a putty knife for scraping the dresser before sanding it.
  • My sister is scraping by in calculus; she’s getting a D.

When To Use Scrapping

Scrapping has fewer common uses than scraping. Usually, you’ll use this word when you describe getting rid of something. There’s often an implication of destruction; if you’re scrapping a car, somebody is going to break it down for parts. 

Scrapping can also mean getting into a physical altercation. Two kids fighting on the playground can be said to be scrapping. A feisty kid or dog can be described as scrappy, meaning always ready to throw down and fight.

If you make the typo web scrapping instead of web scraping, it could be taken to mean an online argument. However, this is not a common phrase or idiom. 

Scrapping Examples:

  • This project just isn’t working, so I’m scrapping it.
  • The amateur boxers were scrapping in the ring.

Scraping by or Scrapping Your Draft?

Using scrapping when you mean scraping, or vice versa, is a very easy typo to make. The only difference is a single P. But using that P correctly can give your writing an air of professionalism and polish, and using it incorrectly can be a problem. So be careful, and don’t get into a scrape over scrapping and scraping!

Need more help with commonly confused words with single-letter differences? Check out our Confusing Words archive for more grammar and vocabulary tips!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.