1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Rascal

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RASCAL, a term originally used in the sense of a rabble, especially descriptive of camp-followers or the dregs of an army, or of the lowest of the people; now only of a single person, in the sense of a rogue or knave. The origin of O.Fr. rascaille, modern racaille, from which the word came into English, is uncertain. The word was early used, in hunting, for the weaker or poorer male deer of a herd; the word has been connected with O.Fr. rascler, mod. racler, to scrape, rake, in the sense of the off-scourings of the herd.