rapscallion, rascal

Trivia for the day.


Here they come, a whole battalion – a million, a jillion, all in rebellion. But not a stallion among them, just slubberdegullions fed on slumgullion, slavering for bullion but barely getting bouillon. What do we do with this cotillion of tatterdemalion hellions? Why, rap them with scallions and they’ll scatter, the rapscallions.

Not that that’s where rapscallion comes from. You know what a rapscallion is, don’t you? If the word looks like rascal decked out for a cotillion, you pretty much have it. A rapscallion is a rascal, a rogue, a vagabond (to quote the OED), a raffish scalawag. The word is just rascallion with a rap of p to make it smarter and sharper. And rascallion? Just rascal with a fillip on the end. The OED tells me that rampallion may have had some influence too – it’s a now less-used word with similar sense.

Of them…

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Grammar-ease: “Should have” vs “Should of”

Nice grammar tip.

Live to Write - Write to Live

This is a quick grammar post.

It’s simple: “should have” and its contraction “should’ve” are correct.  As are “would have” (would’ve) and “could have” (could’ve).


Incorrect: “should of”; “could of”; “would of”; “shoulda”; “woulda”; “coulda”

  • I should have (should’ve) left earlier to avoid traffic.
  • He could have (could’ve) told her he was on his way so she wouldn’t leave.
  • She would have (would’ve) brought a snack if she knew there was no food.
  • I could’ve won that race if I had trained more!
  • He should’ve had a V-8 for breakfast instead of a donut.
  • She would’ve gone to the movies if she didn’t have to work.


Happy writing!

What other grammar topics or tips would you like to see?

Lisa_2015Lisa J. Jackson is an independent writer and editor who enjoys working with manufacturing, software, and technology businesses of all sizes. She loves researching topics, interviewing experts, and helping companies tell…

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