rap·​scal·​lion | \ rap-ˈskal-yən How to pronounce rapscallion (audio) \
plural rapscallions

Definition of rapscallion

: a person who causes trouble : rascal, ne'er-do-well If a little prince with a permissive nanny can get bumptious on occasion, a regal rapscallion without any nanny could fast become a royal pain.People Weekly The kidnapper is none other than the nefarious Captain Hook (Dustin Hoffman), who still hasn't gotten over the loss of his hand. That rapscallion Peter Pan is to blame, and Hook will have his revenge.— Nora Lee Growing up, my best friends were my siblings. While we fought like only brother and sisters could fight, I was quick to defend their honor, or protect them from the rapscallion of our childhood world.— Stephanie Hill

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.

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
Recent Examples on the Web Top Stories Not so long ago, Montana rapscallion Stu Long’s pursuit of venal success would have been sold as a redemption story. Armond White, National Review, 20 Apr. 2022 The latest to do so was a special collaboration between Jean-Paul Gaultier, fashion’s greatest streetwise rapscallion, and his protégée Glenn Martens, of Y-Project and Diesel. Rachel Tashjian, Harper's BAZAAR, 28 Mar. 2022 There’s tension between Thomas and Peter (voiced by James Corden), however, as the uptight novice farmer can’t bring himself to trust the rapscallion rabbit. Michael Ordoña, Los Angeles Times, 10 June 2021 With the United Kingdom still in its eight-day national mourning period after the death of Prince Philip, John Oliver, a noted detractor of the royal family, seems to want everyone to remember one particular thing about that Windsor rapscallion. Devon Ivie, Vulture, 12 Apr. 2021 Surprisingly, the timeliest as well as the rudest painting show of this winter, opening at the New Museum, happens to be the first New York museum survey ever of the American aesthetic rapscallion Peter Saul. Peter Schjeldahl, The New Yorker, 10 Feb. 2020 Now, rather than pirates offering brides for a price, the rapscallions are auctioning goods taken from villagers. Scott Craven, USA TODAY, 7 June 2018 The embattled First Order military man could be the most stressed-out guy in the galaxy, first watching as Starkiller Base was blown sky high and then having to chase various rapscallions in the Resistance. Brian Truitt, USA TODAY, 13 Dec. 2017 Three distinctive singers—Pretty Yende, Peter Mattei, and Dmitry Korchak—head up the cast as Rossini’s lovable rapscallions; Maurizio Benini. The New Yorker, 8 Feb. 2017 See More

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.

First Known Use of rapscallion

1648, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for rapscallion

alteration of earlier rascallion, irregular from rascal

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The first known use of rapscallion was in 1648

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Last Updated

27 Apr 2022

Cite this Entry

“Rapscallion.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/rapscallion. Accessed 16 May. 2022.

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