Scallywag

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2 comments on this post.
  1. Mike Grant:

    No…! Scalloway isn’t an island – it’s a village in the Shetland Islands.

  2. John Bradley:

    Yes, I lived in Scalloway for two years. The name comes from the Old Norse skalavagr. I reckon it’s from the days of sailing ships when cabin boys would be taken on board there. Shetland ponies and collies are smaller than the mainland varieties, hence a scallywag became any small, impish creature.

    More controversially, I wonder if in the slave trade, scallywag became ‘galley wag’ which then became gollywog, a small amusing fellow on the slave ship?

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