Words at Play : Top 10 Charming Words for Nasty People

#4: Rapscallion

Definition:

rascal; an idle worthless person

Examples:

"The devil fetch ye, ye ragamuffin rapscallions; ye are all asleep. Stop snoring, ye sleepers, and pull." – Herman Melville, Moby Dick, 1851

"In his personal life [Christopher Hitchens] was no less the 'rapscallion iconoclast,' as historian Douglas Brinkley once described him. He left his pregnant first wife for another woman." – Elaine Woo, Los Angeles Times, December 15, 2011

About the Word:

There are no scallions in rapscallion. Rapscallion is an alteration of rascallion, which is itself an irregular formation of rascal, a term born in an Old French dialect word meaning "to scrape, clean off."

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