Definition of scallywag in English:

scallywag

Line breaks: scally|wag
Pronunciation: /ˈskalɪwag
 
/
(North American also scalawag /ˈskalə-/)

noun

informal
  • 1A person, typically a child, who behaves badly but in an amusingly mischievous rather than harmful way; a rascal: that scallywag of a son of yours
    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.
  • 2US A white Southerner who collaborated with northern Republicans during the post-Civil War reconstruction period.
    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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