harum-scarum

harum-scarum

[hair-uhm-skair-uhm, har-uhm-skar-uhm]
adjective
1.
reckless; rash; irresponsible: He had a harum-scarum youth.
2.
disorganized; uncontrolled.
adverb
3.
recklessly; wildly: He ran harum-scarum all over the place.
noun
4.
a reckless person.
5.
reckless or unpredictable behavior or action.

Origin:
1665–75; earlier harum-starum rhyming compound based on obsolete hare to harass + stare

harum-scarumness, noun


1, 2. erratic, impulsive, impetuous; giddy, scatterbrained.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
harum-scarum (ˈhɛərəmˈskɛərəm)
 
adj, —adv
1.  in a reckless way or of a reckless nature
 
n
2.  a person who is impetuous or rash
 
[C17: perhaps from hare (in obsolete sense: harass) + scare, variant of stare1; compare helter-skelter]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

harum-scarum
1674, probably a compound of obsolete hare "harry" + scare, with 'um as a reduced form of them.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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