And so reported The New York Times in an 1877 book review about 17th-century scoundrel James II of England.
Given a choice between the scoundrel and the scold, who might the people go for?
As Samuel Johnson wrote, “patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.”
1580s, skowndrell, of unknown origin. One suggestion is Anglo-French escoundre (Old French escondre) "to hide, hide oneself," from Vulgar Latin *excondere, from Latin condere "to hide" (see abscond). The main objection to this theory is that hundreds of years lie between the two words.