I looked this word up again and got a slightly different definition than the one i had when i used it in one of my books…
2. Hence, the foul remains of anything adherent. “The scurf is worn away of each committed crime.” (Dryden)
3. Anything like flakes or scales adhering to a surface. “There stood a hill not far, whose grisly top Belched fire and rolling smoke; the rest entire Shone with a glossy scurf.” (Milton)
4. Minute membranous scales on the surface of some leaves, as in the goosefoot.
My previous understanding of the word came from someone in the medical field–who was, perhaps, off the mark. I used it to describe the sleep that appears in your eyes when you’re awake (ironically). Other names I considered: Sleepy Dirt. Croutons. Eye Boogers (the moniker I dislike the most). Some things are just gross. I can say that knowing i wrote an entire post about that special time of the month– (Behorned Cleated Demon & The Exxon Valdez).
More recently, it has been called Rheum.*
I happen to be a factory for the stuff. Not sure why. Do i cry in my sleep? Do little tiny creatures come and place it there in the night, and then steal away, giggling? Mine is sort of like rock salt. When I rub my eyes, the little sleepy-salt scratches the sensitive skin there, and then i feel like I have cuts at the corners of my eyes. I’ve learned to use a warm compress first.
But when i was writing Achilles Forjan, I needed a new way to say it, and i ended up posting to some medical terminology site and was informed that the word I sought was, Scurf.*
To look at it, I thought it could also be a new version of a popular water sport, ala,
“Sweeping the country’s oceans–Scurfing. Instead of using a surfboard, you use a scarf.”
Many have died.
*UPDATE: the proper term for sleep in your eye now appears to be “gound.” From Today I Found Out website: Sleep is a type of rheum, which is the name for discharge from your nose, mouth or eyes during sleep. More specifically, eye rheum is known as gound. Gound is made up of a mixture of dust, blood cells, skin cells, etc. mixed with mucus secreted by the conjunctiva, as well as an oily substance from the meibomian glands.” http://www.todayifoundout.com/index.php/2011/02/what-the-sleep-in-your-eyes-is/