rapscallion

play
noun rap·scal·lion \rap-ˈskal-yən\

Definition of rapscallion

rapscallion was our Word of the Day on 01/22/2016. Hear the podcast!

Examples of rapscallion in a sentence

  1. the city's run-down waterfront was occupied mostly by disreputable places frequented by drunkards and rapscallions

  2. that little rapscallion kept hiding my shoes and making me go look for them

Did You Know?

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.

Origin and Etymology of rapscallion

alteration of earlier rascallion, irregular from rascal


First Known Use: 1699



Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up rapscallion? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

a mode of satirical wit

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

  • manet-jeanne-spring
  • Which is a synonym of chaffer?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ