Used to describe someone who makes a foolish mistake or undergoes a funny accident. It can also be used to describe someone who is a tyro or novice. It can also be seen as a verb, scrubbing, someone is in the act of being a scrub.
Jeff didn’t know he had to buy a ticket in advance. What a scrub.
Etymology : It is a visual metaphor that comes from the gamer world. When people are a novice at a game and prone to mistakes, they tend to mash or rapidly press the buttons to try and make something happen. This visually looks like a scrubbing motion. Thus by metaphor, this motion became known as scrubbing, which then underwent metonymy to become scrub as anyone who would be scrubbing. It has then undergone widening to now apply to any sort of mistake or accident, not just in a video game.
Source : Conversation with friends 2012.
Last modified: 25 November 2013