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  1. Key Member
    Student or Learner
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      • Native Language:
      • Portuguese
      • Home Country:
      • Tuvalu
      • Current Location:
      • Tuvalu

    • Join Date: Oct 2007
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    rogue and scoundrel

    I wonder how contemporaneous these words are, please.
    Are they used in modern English to mean a bad and unprincipled person? I hear ''rogue state'' very often but how about a ''rogue guy''?
    Still, what would be the best term (a noun, if possible)to define an unprincipled, dishonest and unreliable person?

  2. Senior Member
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      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • Canada

    • Join Date: Oct 2008
    • Posts: 1,211

    Re: rogue and scoundrel

    "Rogue" (not "rogue guy") and "scoundrel" are quite appropriate. If they sound a little old fashioned or unusual, it's because we are too lazy to look for such a perfectly strong and meaningful word, and tend to use something vulgar. "He's a shit," for example. And that could get you in serious trouble in some areas, like in your parents' home!

    "Cad" has a similar meaning (usable in polite company), but might be more old fashioned; tends to suggest he was impolite to women.

    We tend to use "rascal" for a younger scoundrel. Not quite so much evil is implied with rascal.

    "Swindler" works, if the cad has stolen money. "Quack," if he is less than honest or proficient in his profession, chiefly used of doctors, etc.

    Very few of these words can be applied to women, by the way.
    Last edited by jlinger; 16-Oct-2008 at 21:46.


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