Sally M (sallymn) wrote in 1word1day,
Sally M
sallymn
1word1day

Sunday Word: Scapegrace

scapegrace [skeyp-greys]

noun:
1 (archaic) a mischievous or wayward person, especially a young person or child; a rascal
2 something capable of causing oblivion of grief or suffering; anything inducing a pleasurable sensation of forgetfulness, especially of sorrow or trouble.

Examples:

The Middle Ages died dismally, and the scapegrace poet Francois Villon sang their requiem in the wineshops of the Cité. (Kenneth Macleish, Adored, neglected, and restored: A 1968 Nat Geo feature explored Notre Dame, National Geographic, April 2019)

Hayward’s fruity baritone provides a firm foundation for a wide-ranging portrayal of the title role that encompasses the archetypal breadth of the elderly scapegrace while humanising his fallibility. (David Kittredge, A Falstaff for the annals at the Grange Festival, Financial Times, June 2019)

So Aladdin is a scapegrace, an idler, but he's frank and courageous, and the Moor who pretends to be his uncle is a deceiver all through. (Philip Pullman, Aye, there's the rub, The Guardian, Nov 2005)

Bluck, the neglected young pupil of three-and-twenty from the agricultural district, and that idle young scapegrace of a Master Todd before mentioned, received little eighteen-penny books, with "Athene" engraved on them, and a pompous Latin inscription from the professor to his young friends. (William Makepeace Thackeray, Vanity Fair )

Yes they can, aunt, if she married a man whom she knew to be a scapegrace because he was very rich and an earl. (Anthony Trollope, Can You Forgive Her?)

Origin:

At first glance, you might think 'scapegrace' has something in common with 'scapegoat,' our word for a person who takes the blame for someone else’s mistake or calamity. Indeed, the words do share a common source - the verb 'scape,' a variant of 'escape' that was once far more common than it is today. 'Scapegrace,' which first appeared in English in the mid-18th century (over 200 years after 'scapegoat'), arrived at its meaning through its literal interpretation as 'one who has escaped the grace of God.' (Two now-obsolete words based on a similar notion are scape-thrift, meaning 'spendthrift,' and 'want-grace,' a synonym of 'scapegrace.') In ornithological circles, 'scapegrace' can also refer to a loon with a red throat, but this sense is rare. (Merriam-Webster)

1767, from scape (v.) + grace (n.); as if it meant 'one who escapes the grace of God.' (Online Etymology Dictionary)

Tags: archaic, english: georgian, noun, s, wordsmith: sallymn
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