scalawag

A scalawag is a lying, no-good rascal. Scalawags are not to be trusted, but sometimes they’re a little bit cute. A scalawag would take the cookies right off your plate!

This funny, old-fashioned word refers to people who are deceitful and untrustworthy. Scalawags are up to no good. Someone who steals your wallet or lies to your face is a scalawag. Scalawags play tricks and break laws, but they don’t do serious crimes. In U.S. history, scalawag has a more specific meaning: it refers to white Southerners who, after the American Civil War, supported the policies of Reconstruction that dismantled the Confederacy and granted citizenship to formerly enslaved people.

Definitions of scalawag
  1. noun
    a deceitful and unreliable scoundrel
    synonyms: knave, rapscallion, rascal, rogue, scallywag, varlet
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    type of:
    scoundrel, villain
    a wicked or evil person; someone who does evil deliberately
  2. noun
    a white Southerner who supported Reconstruction policies after the American Civil War (usually for self-interest)
    synonyms: scallywag
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    type of:
    bad person, malefactor
    a person who does harm to others
  3. noun
    one who is playfully mischievous
    synonyms: imp, monkey, rapscallion, rascal, scallywag, scamp
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    types:
    brat, holy terror, little terror, terror
    a very troublesome child
    type of:
    child, fry, kid, minor, nestling, nipper, shaver, small fry, tiddler, tike, tyke, youngster
    a young person of either sex
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