- a scamp; rascal.
- U.S. History. a native white Southerner who collaborated with the occupying forces during Reconstruction, often for personal gain.
Origin of scalawag
Examples from the Web for scalawag
Eddie Haskell Santorum is supposed to get the evangelical vote what with his Christian-right backing, not the scalawag Newt.Marianne Gingrich Interview Casts Doubts on Newt’s New Image
January 20, 2012
I didn't rescue that scalawag because I had any Christian sentiments, nary bit.Blazed Trail Stories
Stewart Edward White
Kit, where is the knife that scalawag was going to cut the rope with?The Young Acrobat of the Great North American Circus
Horatio Alger Jr.
And when did I ever talk to you about the quality, you scalawag?The Crisis, Complete
You are a fraud—a vile Latin—a vicious French-hearted scalawag.The Life and Letters of Lafcadio Hearn, Volume 2
The scalawag, being a renegade, was scorned more than a carpet-bagger.Civil War and Reconstruction in Alabama
Walter L. Fleming
- a variant of scallywag
Word Origin and History for scalawag
also scallawag, "disreputable fellow," 1848, American English, originally in trade union jargon, of uncertain origin; perhaps an alteration (by influence of wag "habitual joker") of Scottish scallag "farm servant, rustic," itself an alteration of Scalloway, one of the Shetland Islands, wit the reference being to little Shetland ponies (An early recorded sense of scalawag was "undersized or worthless animal," 1854). In U.S. history, used from 1862 as a derogatory term for anti-Confederate native white Southerners.