American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. Informal A reprobate; a rascal.
- n. A white Southerner working for or supporting the federal government during Reconstruction.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. An under-sized, scraggy, or ill-fed animal of little value.
- n. A worthless, good-for-nothing, or contemptible fellow; a scamp; a scapegrace. The word was used in the southern United States, during the period of reconstruction (1865 to 1870 and later), in an almost specific sense, being opprobriously applied by the opponents of the Republican party to native Southerners who acted with that party, as distinguished from
carpet-bagger, a Republican of Northern origin.
- n. pejorative, US, archaic Any white Southerner who supported the federal plan of Reconstruction after the Civil War or who joined with the black freedmen and the carpetbaggers in support of Republican Party policies.
- n. pejorative, archaic A rascal. alternative spelling of scallywag.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. Slang, U.S. A scamp; a scapegrace.
- n. one who is playfully mischievous
- n. a deceitful and unreliable scoundrel
- n. a white Southerner who supported Reconstruction policies after the American Civil War (usually for self-interest)
- Of Irish origin, "scalawag" refers to a "rascal" and is probably from sgalog a labourer. (Wiktionary)
- Origin unknown. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“The scalawag was the native white man who made up the middle class of the South; the planter above, the Negro below.”
“A scalawag was a Southerner who deserted his political affiliations for the spoils of the Republican party.”
“But certain it is that the enemy - authorities and 'scalawag' - friends, who now cruelly oppress the whites and elevate the negro over us - are hated as the ravaging armies never were, and a true union seems farther off than ever. ”
“A "scalawag" if as a Southern born man he votes with the Republicans; a "carpet-bagger" if he comes from the North, no matter how he votes.”
“States of America after the war and during the period of reconstruction, he would have been designated, in the picturesque slang of the period, as a "scalawag"; for he not only deserted Napoleon in his final defeat and deepest woe, but joined his enemies, took office from the victors, perverted his public trust to private gain, and ended his career dishonored in the estimation of all true men.”
“A "scalawag" was any Southern white who allied himself politically with the negroes, and a "carpet-bagger" was a Northern adventurer, for whose worldly goods a gripsack sufficed, -- or, in general, any Northerner whatever.”
“During that era, the term "scalawag" was used to refer to white Southerners who supported the federal government's actions in the region.”
“Enna shot a fierce glance at him, muttering "scalawag," half under her breath, while his old father said testily, "Horace, you speak too strongly.”
“You discover the words, “whippersnapper,” “scalawag” and “by-cracky” creeping into your vocabulary.”
““What are you prattling on about, you chatty old scalawag?””
These user-created lists contain the word ‘scalawag’.
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