Word Etymology 1-9-13
Ancient Romans did a lot of walking. Roman engineers built a network of roads throughout Italy and the Empire. As the Roman army marched into Spain, Gaul, Austria, Germany, Asia Minor and Africa, the engineering corps provided quick access with their skill in building roads. They would build fires at long distances apart and survey a straight route through forests and mountains by looking at the smoke and using it as a guide as you would use a compass. They applied the axiom that a straight line is the shortest distance between two points.
Some roads were called SCRUPULOUS meaning FULL OF TINY, POINTED, PEBBLE-LIKE STONES.
Travelers tried to avoid such roads because the tiny, pointed stones weighing one-twenty fourth of an ounce would lodge in their sandals and pinch the foot as they walked.
These stones were called SCRUPLES from the Latin word SCRUPULOUS meaning A SHARP, POINTED STONE WEIGHING 1/24th OF AN OUNCE. Today SCRUPLE means some regret or compunction which pinches your conscience.
If you are SCRUPULOUS you are full of such restraints and reservations which can be annoying to you or to those around you. Of course many of us have traveled a scrupulous road and ended our journey with a multitude of pinching matters. However, just like the Roman traveler who had to stop to unload those scruples, we too, in life, if we reflect on it, stop to eliminate those TRIFLING, PINCHING DARTS from our conscience.
On the other hand – UNSCRUPULOUS means EVIL, WICKED, CORRUPT, DECEITFUL, IMMORAL SHADY, VILE, VENAL, UNTRUTHFUL.