Scruff of the Neck

What does it mean when someone takes something by the scruff of the neck?

The scruff of the neck is the nape—the back part of the neck. 

On an animal, particularly mammals, there is a lot of loose skin at the back of the neck. It is easier to pick up an animal by the scruff of the neck.

When an animal is picked up by the scruff of the neck, it is difficult for the animal to wriggle and to escape. 

Often a mother or father animal picks up their young by the scruff of the neck. 

Photographer: Martina Nicolls

Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM

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