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From an alteration of rascallion, a fanciful elaboration of rascal (someone who is naughty).


  • IPA(key): /ɹæpˈskæljən/
  • (file)


rapscallion (plural rapscallions)

  1. (archaic) A rascal, scamp, rogue, or scoundrel.
    • 1884 December 10, Mark Twain [pseudonym; Samuel Langhorne Clemens], chapter XXVIII, in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn: (Tom Sawyer’s Comrade) [], London: Chatto & Windus, [], →OCLC:
      “If I get away I sha’n’t be here,” I says, “to prove these rapscallions ain’t your uncles, and I couldn’t do it if I was here. I could swear they was beats and bummers, that’s all, though that’s worth something.
    • 1901, Joseph Conrad, Ford Madox Ford, chapter 3, in The Inheritors:
      She was the sister who had remained within the pale; I, the rapscallion of a brother whose vagaries were trying to his relations.
    • 1982, Kurt Vonnegut, chapter 1, in Deadeye Dick:
      She had a studio built for him on a loft of the carriage house behind the family mansion when he was only ten years old, and she hired a rapscallion German cabinetmaker, who had studied art in Berlin in his youth, to give Father drawing and painting lessons on weekends and after school.




rapscallion (comparative more rapscallion, superlative most rapscallion)

  1. Disreputable, roguish.
    • 1869 May, Anthony Trollope, “Miss Stanbury’s Generosity”, in He Knew He Was Right, volume I, London: Strahan and Company, [], →OCLC, page 93:
      [H]e is dressed in such a rapscallion manner that the people would think you were talking to a house-breaker.
    • 1895, Charlotte M. Yonge, chapter 23, in The Carbonels:
      "I baint a-going to give my master's property to a lot of rapscallion thieves and robbers like you."