Read here about the etymology, or word origins, of words significant to the study of scale and the construction of scalometers. Information is derived from [[@ |]] and the Oxford English Dictionary, unless otherwise stated.


the use as scale or magnitude comes after musical scale, by about a century.


SKULL CUP: "pan of a balance," from "drinking cup" (c.1200), from O.N. skal "bowl, drinking cup," in pl., "weighing scale" from P.Gmc. *skælo "split, divide" (cf. O.N. skel "shell," O.E. scalu, O.S. skala, O.H.G. scala, Ger. Schale, M.Du. scale, Du. schaal "drinking cup, bowl, shell, scale of a balance"). Possibly from a supposed custom of making goblets from skulls (see skull).
CLIMB: "to climb," late 14c., from L. scala, from scandere "to climb" (see scan). This is also the source (perhaps via It. scala) of the noun in the musical sense (1590s), and the meaning "proportion of a representation to the actual object" (1660s). Scale factor is from 1948.

SKIN PLATE: "skin plates on fish or snakes," c.1300, from O.Fr. escale (12c., Mod.Fr. écale) "scale, husk," from Frank., from P.Gmc. *skælo "split, divide" (cf. O.H.G. scala "shell," Goth. skalja "tile," O.E. scealu "shell, husk), from PIE base *(s)kel- "to cut, cleave, split" (cf. L. culter "knife," scalpere "to cut, scrape;" O.C.S. skolika "mussel, shell," Rus. skala "rind, bark," O.E. scell "shell"). In reference to humans, as a condition of certain skin diseases, it is attested from c.1400. As what falls from one's eye when blindness ends (usually fig.), it echoes Acts ix.18 (L. tanquam squamæ, Gk. hosei lepides). Verb meaning "to remove the scales from (a fish)" is attested from mid-15c.

prefixes and/or suffixes to scale

Scalology, a rare term, 29 hits on Google 14 May 2011 1840 GMT.
Scaleology is more rare, 12 hits on Google 14 May 2011 1840 GMT, mostly errors, about weight or blues scales.

  • The National Scale Men’s Association has what we feel is a very well selected educational committee, and it is their intention to compile information in a very complete form so that anyone interested in any phase of scale work will have available text-book material, practical information, and theoretical information of “Scaleology.” -- Report of the 32nd National Conference on Weights and Measures, publication M186, Sept. 1946
  • “Recent development in the elaboration process of scales ("scalology") may soon lead to the validation of new composite outcome measures." - 2001 article in review neurology
  • Rajiv, on a guitar music forum, referred to the hard work of interval based fingering of scales on guitar, “I worked out a shorthand for scalology late last night as I got fed up of turning pages in the Guitar Grimoire books when practicing – why don’t they publish them spiral bound or better yet, have a software that shows every fingering using altered or standard open tuning? ” a Nov. 2008


Scalometer is a trademark listed as cancelled on Filed by the Rohrback Corporation on Oct. 9, 1980 it referred to "Instruments for Measuring the Presence and Extent of Scaling-Namely, Surface Scale Measuring Instruments for Use in the Water Treatment and Petroleum Processing Industries." Rohrback Corporation, Santa Fe Springs 90670 was granted SCALOMETER trademark serial number 73280924.

a scalometer and a scale used to determine the moisture content of ivory is listed by Smithsonian Institution Press, Smithsonian Year 1989 Supplement, Washington, D.C. as index number 1989.0105. Link:

The Morton Dry Kiln troemroid Scalometer 1914 was an accurate scale for woodworking, fitted with agate bearings with screw adjustment.

Scalemeter is a music theory reference tool consisting of two disks: its outer disk rotates over its inner disk to reveal notes of major and minor scales.

Misc terms etymology


Etymonline: c.1400, "greatness of size or character," from L. magnitudo "greatness, bulk, size," from magnus "great" (see magnate) + -tudo, suffix forming abstract nouns from adjectives and participles. Meaning "size, extent" is from early 15c. Of stars, "brightness," from 1640s.

Links and References

Etymonline, by Douglas Harper: [[@ |]] and the Oxford English Dictionary, unless otherwise stated.
Oxford English Dictionary:

Below are links to pages detailing the core concepts of scalometers: