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 (skăl′ə-wăg′) also scal·ly·wag (skăl′ē-)
1. Informal A reprobate; a rascal.
2. A white Southerner working for or supporting the federal government during Reconstruction.

[Origin unknown.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


a variant of scallywag
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ˈskæl əˌwæg)

1. a scamp; rascal.
2. a white Southerner who supported Republican policy during Reconstruction, often for personal gain.
[1840–50, Amer.; orig. uncertain]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.scalawag - a white Southerner who supported Reconstruction policies after the American Civil War (usually for self-interest)
bad person - a person who does harm to others
2.scalawag - a deceitful and unreliable scoundrelscalawag - a deceitful and unreliable scoundrel
scoundrel, villain - a wicked or evil person; someone who does evil deliberately
3.scalawag - one who is playfully mischievousscalawag - one who is playfully mischievous  
child, kid, minor, nipper, tiddler, youngster, tike, shaver, small fry, nestling, fry, tyke - a young person of either sex; "she writes books for children"; "they're just kids"; "`tiddler' is a British term for youngster"
brat, holy terror, little terror, terror - a very troublesome child
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in classic literature ?
"What nature reared by centuries of toil, A scalawag in half a day can spoil; An equal fate for him may Heaven provide - Damned in the moment of his tallest pride."
The old scalawag just closed his eyes and put on one of the softest "sugar-wouldn't-melt-in-my-mouth" expressions you ever saw and stood there taking it and asking for more.
She never says a harsh word about another woman, and if she likes to card us poor scalawags of men down I reckon our tough old hides can stand it."
General Oscar Albayalde, chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP), has approved a readjusted strategy on internal cleansing that would complement the ongoing punitive actions against scalawag policemen.
With Christmas right around the corner, Scalawag the cat pens a series of entertaining notes highlighting the nice intentions behind a year's worth of naughty deeds, hoping to convince Santa that it wasn't his fault the bird escaped, the pitcher got stuck on his head, or the tree caught fire.
In just 16 months since its founding, the PNP-CITF has filed cases against 194 police officers, 74 of whom were arrested in various anti-police scalawag operations.
Moses of South Carolina; a jewish scalawag during radical reconstruction.
As to scalawag identity, Rubin moves beyond the dominant revisionist argument, showing the variations that can exist in local Reconstruction.
Let that occasional scalawag that crops up among us every now and again be cause for rededication of purpose and strengthening focus on goals.
But wait, there's more: These terrible new scalawag doodles "appeal to an international market"; the Americans and Japanese may be involved in this one.
But in peacetime, as that clever scalawag Nixon used to observe, you don't really need a President.
The novel satirizes primarily the rule of political upstarts, of whom the scalawag Teague is chief.