Recorded since c.1330, as Middle English rascaile (“people of the lowest class, rabble of an army”), derived from 12th century Old French rascaille (“outcast, rabble”) (modern French racaille), perhaps from rasque (“mud, filth, scab, dregs”), from Vulgar Latin *rasicare (“to scrape”). The singular form is first attested in 1461; the present extended sense of "low, dishonest person" is from early 1586.
rascal (plural rascals)
- A dishonest person; a rogue; a scoundrel; a trickster.
- A playfully mischievous person or creature; a troublemaker.
- That little rascal bit me!
- If you have deer in the area, you may have to put a fence around your garden to keep the rascals out.
- A member of a criminal gang in Papua New Guinea.
- (someone who is naughty): devil, imp, mischief-maker, scamp, scoundrel
- See also Wikisaurus:villain
- See also Wikisaurus:troublemaker