Definition of scalawag in English:

scalawag

Syllabification: scal·a·wag
Pronunciation: /ˈskaləˌwag
 
/
(also scallywag /ˈskalē-/)

noun

informal
  • 1A person who behaves badly but in an amusingly mischievous rather than harmful way; a rascal.
    More 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.
    More 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.

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