Word of the Day Archive
Monday April 19, 2010
A reckless, unprincipled person; one who is wild and reckless; a rascal; a scoundrel.
She intended to divide her fortune neither evenly nor proportional to need, but to ensure her own pleasure, bequeathing the bulk of it to her scapegrace nephew Rawdon Crawley, who had few virtues but much vitality; he amused her.
-- Randy Cohen, "The Heir Unapparent", New York Times Magazine, December 12, 1999
The Poggenpuhls consist of a widowed mother, three unmarried daughters, and two young soldier sons, one a model of rectitude and the other, Leo, a high-living scapegrace who, naturally, is everybody's favorite
-- Dennis Drabelle, "The Dickens of Berlin", The Atlantic, October 2000
He is a happy-go-lucky scapegrace of a boy, often a younger brother, who, by the exercise of cunning and a quick tongue but, above all, by good luck, overtakes his worthy betters to rise from rags to riches and get the girl as well.
-- Roland Huntford, "Nansen: The Explorer as Hero"
Scapegrace is from scape (a variant of escape) + grace.