Definition of scalawag in English:

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scalawag

Pronunciation: /ˈskaləˌwaɡ/
Pronunciation: /ˈskalēˌwaɡ/
(also scallywag /ˈskalē-/)

noun

informal
1A person who behaves badly but in an amusingly mischievous rather than harmful way; a rascal.
Example sentences
  • Parts of Soho have a slightly seedy reputation, but we decided that being shown around responsibly by two adults would effectively remove the possibility of the two scallywags getting into mischief.
  • To hardened scallywags in uniform, Lacson vows, in rather dramatic language: ‘We shall scorch the earth beneath you.’
  • I shall not need a horror mask when I open the door to the young scallawags who come trick or treating on Hallowe'en.
Synonyms
1.1US A white Southerner who collaborated with northern Republicans during Reconstruction, often for personal profit. The term was used derisively by white Southern Democrats who opposed Reconstruction legislation.
Example sentences
  • Most southwestern scalawags were Douglas Democrats in 1860, while most Upper South and southeastern scalawags were Whigs who supported the Constitutional Union candidacy of John Bell.
  • Bust times inevitably recall repressed myths of gallant cavalry laid low by Northern treachery and an economy ravaged by carpetbaggers and scalawags.

Origin

Mid 19th century: of unknown origin.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: scal·a·wag

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