from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A criminal who has narrowly escaped being hanged.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. One who has narrowly escaped the gallows for his crimes.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. One who has escaped the gallows though deserving hanging; a villain: used in objurgation.
Perhaps the reader will say, "Oh, it must have been published in an insignificant sheet printed in some obscure corner of the state; perhaps by a gang of 'squatters,' in the Dismal Swamp, universally regarded as a pest, and edited by some scapegallows, who was detested by the whole community."
Frustration of justice is implied by scapegallows, slipgibbet, and sliphalter.
‘scapegallows’; all names given to those who, however they might have escaped, were justly owed to the gallows, and might still “go upstairs to bed”.