follow Dictionary.com

Stories We Like: Novels For Language Lovers

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.
Cite This Source
British Dictionary definitions for scalawaggy

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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for scalawaggy

scalawag

n.

also scallawag, "disreputable fellow," 1848, American English, originally in trade union jargon, of uncertain origin; perhaps an alteration (by influence of wag "habitual joker") of Scottish scallag "farm servant, rustic," itself an alteration of Scalloway, one of the Shetland Islands, wit the reference being to little Shetland ponies (An early recorded sense of scalawag was "undersized or worthless animal," 1854). In U.S. history, used from 1862 as a derogatory term for anti-Confederate native white Southerners.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for scalawag

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for scalawaggy

0
0
Scrabble Words With Friends