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scalawag

[skal-uh-wag] /ˈskæl əˌwæg/
noun
1.
a scamp; rascal.
2.
U.S. History. a native white Southerner who collaborated with the occupying forces during Reconstruction, often for personal gain.
Also, scallywag; especially British, scallawag.
Origin
1840-1850
1840-50, Americanism; origin uncertain
Related forms
scalawaggery, noun
scalawaggy, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for scalawag
  • The evil ones are in power, as it was in the carpetbagger and scalawag days.
  • scalawag the talking parrot is a member of the band.
British Dictionary definitions for scalawag

scalawag

/ˈskæləˌwæɡ/
noun
1.
a variant of scallywag
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for scalawag
scalawag
"disreputable fellow," 1848, Amer.Eng., originally in trade union jargon, of uncertain origin, perhaps an alteration of Scottish scallag "farm servant, rustic" (by influence of wag "habitual joker"). An early recorded sense was "undersized or worthless animal" (1854), which suggests an alteration of Scalloway, one of the Shetland Islands, in allusion to little Shetland ponies. In U.S. history, used from 1862 of anti-Confederate native white Southerners.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Word of The Day

Difficulty index for scalawag

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for scalawag

14
17
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