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4 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?

  3. Bob:

    Could it be related to the Greek word, ???????, “sko-LEE-as’, which means “morally bent or twisted; crooked, unscrupulous, dishonest”? You’ll find that word in the Bible – 1 Peter 2:18 and elsewhere, “Servants, be subject to your masters with all respect, not only to the good and gentle but also to the unjust [???????].” What do you think?

  4. Shelly:

    In reply to original post: It was said that the term “was applied as a term of contempt to Southern whites who cooperated with, and profited from, the harsh measures of Reconstruction.” This is incorrect from an objective sense of civil rights. The laws that were being passed during Reconstruction were not harsh, at all. While it does depend on the geographic conditioning of the people, the passing of citizenship and voting rights for “colored” peoples is quite fair and not “harsh” by any means. Again, this does depend on one’s perspective, as giving rights to someone who was raised to think a person of color was meant to be a slave, would be wrong. Furthermore, as slavery goes, it was a major form of capitalism for the South. Having a set of slaves means you can pocket your profits.

    To reply to Bob: I don’t recall the word, scalawag, in the bible, but please remember the bible wasn’t originally written in English.

    Great to see us having a meaningful discussion on a term that many people think was a pirate term!

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