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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 scalawags
  • The scalawags had no intention of going and sleep was impossible.
  • The likeable characters warm your heart, the scalawags infuriate you.
  • He treated everybody, all the scalawags, cowboys and all.
British Dictionary definitions for scalawags

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 scalawags
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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Difficulty index for scalawag

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Word Value for scalawags

15
18
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