old rapscallion

Discussion in 'English Only' started by guilaK, Jun 21, 2013.

  1. guilaK

    guilaK Member

    Hi everybody.

    Someone introduced himself as'' a retired old rapscallion''.I looked up the meaning of the word,but it was so rude and aggressive and I felt terrible.Could anybody tell me why he introduced himself as...? Is he trying to imply a special meaning?
  2. suzi br

    suzi br Senior Member

    Stoke on Trent
    England and English
    I don't know where you found your definition but it certainly can just mean a bit of a rogue, like an imp rather than a criminal. Look at definition 3 for rascal in our dictionary.

    In use it would depend on context and in this context he is unlikely to be describing himself as a crook.
  3. entangledbank

    entangledbank Senior Member

    English - South-East England
    And these days it would only ever be used in a humorous way. You couldn't actually insult anyone by calling them a rapscallion. (And most people would never use the word in their life.)
  4. guilaK

    guilaK Member

    I want to know if he wanted to imply certain idea or meaning,this way.In persian literature when someone addresses himself with an insulting word,he is trying to express his anger or disagreement.Is it the same in English literature?
  5. sdgraham

    sdgraham Senior Member

    Oregon, USA
    USA English
    Right - forget Persian customs in this case.

    See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Self-deprecation for a discussion on self-deprecation.

    (I might even refer to myself in such a manner ;))
  6. Bevj

    Bevj Allegra Moderata

    Girona, Spain
    English (U.K.)
    I don't think that 'rapscallion' is an insulting word, especially when a person uses it to refer to himself.
    If someone does use an insulting word to describe himself, it is usually said in a joking way or perhaps with a sense of pride - 'When I was young I was a real villain'. 'I can be a bastard when I'm in a bad mood'.
  7. guilaK

    guilaK Member

    Thank you very much, indeed.

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