Quick Summary

The Latin root word scrib and its variant script both mean “write.” These roots are the word origin of a fair number of English vocabulary words, including scribe, describe, postscript, and manuscript. The root scrib is easily recalled through the word scribe, whose job is “writing,” and script, a “written” document.

Scribes Write Scripts

The Latin root word scrib and its variant script both mean “write.” Today we have “written” a unique podcast script to permanently “write” these roots into your memory!

Let’s begin with the root scrib, which means “write.” A scribe used to be the primary “writer” of copies before the printing press was invented. A scribe would often transcribe documents, or make “written” copies of them. A bored scribe might scribble or carelessly “write” meaningless marks on what he is “writing.” Imagine if a scribe were given a task which was indescribable, or could not be “written” about at all! Now imagine once more if a scribe were asked to inscribe, or “write” letters on stone with only his usual pen! Perhaps a doctor would have to prescribe pain killers, or “write” a note beforehand, to ease his aching fingers—it’s rough “writing” on stone!

Now let’s move on to the variant root script, which also means “write.” For instance, a script is simply a “written” text. Scribes often copied manuscripts, or documents once “written” by hand. These manuscripts “written” by scribes were often scriptures, or holy “writings.”

Do you have a subscription to a magazine? If so, you have “underwritten” it to provide money for its production. If you need some medicine that is available by prescription only, you must receive a “written” document beforehand from a physician to get it. Have you ever needed a transcript from your school, or document “written” across to another to make a copy, to prove that you’ve taken a certain course?

And just what does the abbreviation “PS” mean after a signature on a letter? It stands for the Latin post scriptum, or “postscript,” a further message which is “written” after the main body of the letter.

I have now “written” more than enough about both scrib and script. Enough describing and description for today!

  1. scribe: a ‘writer’ of copies
  2. transcribe: to make a ‘written’ copy
  3. scribble: ‘write’ carelessly and aimlessly
  4. indescribable: not able to be ‘written’ about
  5. inscribe: ‘write’ on
  6. prescribe: ‘write’ beforehand
  7. script: a ‘written’ document
  8. manuscript: a document originally ‘written’ by hand
  9. scripture: holy ‘writings’
  10. subscription: fee paid to a magazine to ‘underwrite’ its production
  11. prescription: document ‘written’ beforehand by a physician
  12. transcript: document ‘written’ across to another to form a copy
  13. postscript: extra words which are written after the main body of a letter


  • proscribe

    When someone proscribes an activity, they prohibit it by establishing a rule against it.

  • transcribe

    If you transcribe something, such as a speech or other text, you write it or type it in full.

  • circumscribe

    If one's powers or rights are circumscribed, they are limited or restricted.

  • descry

    When you descry something, you detect, discover, discern, or see it.

  • describe

    When you describe something, you say what it is like or explain it.

  • ascribe

    attribute or credit to

  • describable

    capable of being described

  • indescribable

    defying expression or description

  • inscribe

    carve, cut, or etch into a material or surface

  • prescribe

    issue commands or orders for

  • scribal

    of or pertaining to a writer of copies

  • scribble

    an aimless drawing

  • scribe

    score a line on with a pointed instrument, as in metalworking

  • subscribe

    offer to buy, as of stocks and shares

  • subscriber

    someone who expresses strong approval

Related Word Sums

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