Merriam Webster says that,
The word "rascal" has been part of English since the 15th century, but on its own it apparently didn’t quite capture the disagreeable nature of the wily knaves of yore. By the 17th century, English speakers had modified "rascal" to create "rascallion." But it seems that even that term didn’t sound quite mischievous enough. By the century’s end, "rascallion" had been further altered to create "rapscallion." Today, "rapscallion" is still commonly used as a synonym for "blackguard," "scoundrel," and "miscreant." "Rascallion" is still around as well, but it’s very rare.
Mark Twain says,
Them rapscallions took in four hundred and sixtyfive dollars in that three nights. I never see money hauled in by the wagon-load like that before. By and by, when they was asleep and snoring, Jim says:
"Don't it s'prise you de way dem kings carries on, Huck?"
"No," I says, "it don't."
"Why don't it, Huck?"
"Well, it don't, because it's in the breed. I reckon they're all alike,"
"But, Huck, dese kings o' ourn is reglar rapscallions; dat's jist what dey is; dey's reglar rapscallions."
"Well, that's what I'm a-saying; all kings is mostly rapscallions, as fur as I can make out."
"Is dat so?"
"You read about them once -- you'll see. Look at Henry the Eight; this 'n 's a Sunday-school Superintendent to HIM. And look at Charles Second, and Louis Fourteen, and Louis Fifteen, and James Second, and Edward Second, and Richard Third, and forty more; besides all them Saxon heptarchies that used to rip around so in old times and raise Cain. My, you ought to seen old Henry the Eight when he was in bloom. He WAS a blossom. He used to marry a new wife every day, and chop off her head next morning. And he would do it just as indifferent as if he was ordering up eggs. 'Fetch up Nell Gwynn,' he says. They fetch her up. Next morning, 'Chop off her head!' And they chop it off. 'Fetch up Jane Shore,' he says; and up she comes, Next morning, 'Chop off her head' -- and they chop it off. 'Ring up Fair Rosamun.' Fair Rosamun answers the bell. Next morning, 'Chop off her head.' And he made every one of them tell him a tale every night; and he kept that up till he had hogged a thousand and one tales that way, and then he put them all in a book, and called it Domesday Book -- which was a good name and stated the case. You don't know kings, Jim, but I know them;
-excerpted from The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Did you hear about this? Our national obsession with political correctness has got to stop!
I figure the guy (Mark Twain scholar, Alan Gribben) who recommended changing the "N" word and the word "injun" in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn to less offensive wording might be called rapscallion by Mr. Twain himself.
Gribben says he was merely trying to prevent the censor of the book by schools so that more school children will be able read it. Doesn't the erasure of Twain's use of racial slurs dampen, even weaken the lesson of the book? Twain used those words specifically to show how wrong the treatment of those who are different from us is.
What has happened to logic and discernment and good sense? We live in a crazy world, if we aren't free to hear the truth, if we think there is anything wrong with The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn just the way Twain wrote it. Children should read the book. They should be taught the meaning of the book. In doing so, they will learn something about America's history and the way we should think about our fellow man. Hopefully they will gain a clearer understanding of all of mankind.
If there is a real problem with people calling for censorship of the book, then in my opinion it lies with people who make judgment calls about books they have obviously never read.
'Classic.' A book which people praise and don't read.