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"ancient tool for scraping the skin after a bath," 1580s, from Latin strigilis "horse-comb," from stringere (1) "draw along a surface, graze, wound, strip off, rub," from PIE root *streig- (cf. Latin striga "stroke, strike, furrow," stria "furrow, channel;" Old Church Slavonic striga "shear;" Old English stracian "to stroke;" German streichen "to stroke, rub"). Etymologists dispute over whether this is connected to Latin stringere (2), root of strain (v.).