Scribble is hasty, often meaningless marks, while scrawl is untidy handwriting. Scribbles lack intent, scrawls are messy writing.

TL;DR Scribble Vs. Scrawl

Scribbling is typically characterized by quick, messy strokes or marks made without much thought or intent. It often lacks clarity and legibility.

Scrawling refers to writing that is done hurriedly and carelessly. It may be more legible than a scribble but still lacks precision and neatness. Scrawls can appear rushed and erratic.

What is a scribble?

picture of a scribble

A scribble is an impulsive burst of writing or doodling. It’s often characterized by hasty and erratic marks on paper, conveying a sense of spontaneity and playfulness.

Scribbles can take many forms – from hastily written notes during a meeting to mindless doodles while daydreaming in class.

Unlike carefully crafted calligraphy or neatly formed letters, scribbles are not concerned with precision or legibility.

They embody an uninhibited form of expression where the hand moves freely, creating whimsical patterns and shapes that may seem chaotic at first glance.

What is a scrawl?

picture of a scrawl

A scrawl is a haphazard and messy style of writing that often lacks legibility. It is characterized by its uneven strokes, erratic lines, and disorganized appearance.

Unlike a scribble which can be more intentional or purposeful, a scrawl tends to convey a sense of hurriedness or carelessness.

Scrawls are often the result of writing quickly or without much thought put into forming individual letters.

They can be difficult to read and understand, making it challenging for others to decipher the intended message. Scrawling can occur when someone is in a rush or simply not paying attention to their handwriting.

Scribble Vs. Scrawl – Key differences

NatureHasty, chaotic marksMessy, untidy handwriting
IntentOften lacks clear purpose or meaningAttempt at writing, but hard to decipher
FormCan involve random lines and shapesInvolves letters, words, or symbols
ControlMinimal control, lacks structured formUsually retains some resemblance to writing
SpeedRapid and carelessGenerally slower but still messy
Artistic ValueTypically lacks artistic intentionUsually not seen as artistic expression
CommunicationRarely conveys specific informationCan contain attempts at conveying messages
LegibilityGenerally illegible or difficult to readOften difficult to read but some parts clear
ContextOften associated with young childrenOften seen in hastily written notes
Visual AppealMay have a childlike or abstract qualityTends to appear more like written text

Examples of Scribble and Scrawl

Examples of Scribble

  • A toddler using a crayon to create random lines and shapes on a piece of paper.
  • Doodling absentmindedly during a phone call, resulting in abstract marks.
  • Rapidly jotting down ideas with a pen, resulting in messy, haphazard marks.

Examples of Scrawl

  • Quickly writing down a phone number on a sticky note without paying much attention to neatness.
  • Taking notes during a lecture in a hurry, resulting in messy and barely legible handwriting.
  • Attempting to write a message on a post-it note while in a rush, leading to distorted letters and words.


Image Credits

Featured Image By – AxxL from Pixabay

Image 1 By – PublicDomainPictures from Pixabay

Image 2 By – FunGi_ (Trading) on Flickr

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