rapscallion

noun

rap·​scal·​lion rap-ˈskal-yən How to pronounce rapscallion (audio)
plural rapscallions
: 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 it apparently failed to fully capture the disagreeable nature of the wily knaves of yore: by the 16th century, English speakers had expanded rascal to rascallion. But it seems that even that term didn’t sound quite mischievous enough. Eventually, rascallion was further altered, resulting in the snappier, plosive-enhanced rapscallion, which is still commonly used as a synonym for varlet, scoundrel, and rogue. And although rapscallion has zero connection with scallion, it does add a figuratively spicy kick to one’s speech, not unlike chawbacon and other cheeky insults that may be of interest and use.

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 Devers’s list also includes Harlond Clift, who with a name like that couldn’t have been a ballplayer, but an actor who, oh, probably portrayed a rapscallion of a love interest for Bette Davis in a series of 1930s films. Chad Finn, BostonGlobe.com, 5 Apr. 2023 That rapscallion Demna Gvasalia has done it again. Vulture, 6 July 2022 View Photos As an out-and-out rapscallion, the quiet-riot GLI ridicules ostensibly more sporting machinery. Larry Griffin, Car and Driver, 15 Mar. 2023 This jaunty rapscallion is one of nine built, and competed in the Mille Miglia only five days after it was delivered. Basem Wasef, Robb Report, 12 Aug. 2022 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 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'rapscallion.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

alteration of earlier rascallion, irregular from rascal

First Known Use

1648, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of rapscallion was in 1648

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Dictionary Entries Near rapscallion

Cite this Entry

“Rapscallion.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/rapscallion. Accessed 27 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

rapscallion

noun
rap·​scal·​lion rap-ˈskal-yən How to pronounce rapscallion (audio)
: rascal
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