The word rascal has been part of English since the 15th century, but on its own it apparently didn’t quite capture the disagreeable nature of the wily knaves of yore. By the 17th century, English speakers had modified "rascal" to create "rascallion." But it seems that even that term didn’t sound quite mischievous enough. By the century’s end, "rascallion" had been further altered to create "rapscallion." Today, "rapscallion" is still commonly used as a synonym for "blackguard," "scoundrel," and "miscreant." "Rascallion" is still around as well, but it’s very rare.
Examples of rapscallion in a Sentence
the city's run-down waterfront was occupied mostly by disreputable places frequented by drunkards and rapscallions
that little rapscallion kept hiding my shoes and making me go look for them
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'rapscallion.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.