Main definitions of scamp in English

: scamp1scamp2

scamp1

noun

informal
  • 1A person, especially a child, who is mischievous in a likable or amusing way.

    • ‘While their classmates were courting concussion with head-banging, these young scamps would borrow equipment from electronic stores to ‘test them out’, use them to make music, then exchange them for different items.’
    • ‘A young scamp in the comments box gently chided me for the fact that none of my favourites were recorded later than the 1980's.’
    • ‘Everything he's been through, no matter what life throws at him, he's still a little scamp, who loves his family and behaves like any other intelligent, sometimes naughty boy.’
    • ‘My son is such a scamp for not telling me beforehand that you were coming over to dine with us tonight!’
    • ‘You may baulk at forking out your hard-earned cash for these extravagantly self-obsessed, petulant, little scamps.’
    • ‘We are supposed to think that they're adorably life-affirming, unreconstructed old scamps, but I have never seen a more charmless and conceited bunch.’
    • ‘One of the main differences we'll find it in is the way the familiar angels and devils are caricatured in a innocent-looking style, but that's deceiving; they are scamps, mischievous and even violent characters.’
    • ‘Nothing new there, you might reply, you cheeky young scamps, and I'm hardly in much of a position to persuade you otherwise.’
    • ‘Apparently, many underage Korean scamps borrow adults' resident registration numbers and credit card numbers to log onto adult sites.’
    • ‘So, if you're in the Manchester area and you see someone with their fingers tightly crossed, it may not be because some cheeky young scamps have been playing games with superglue.’
    • ‘He tells us when he has a hangover, and he swears a lot, the scamp.’
    • ‘Are their children adorable little scamps or perfect little angels?’
    • ‘That's why - in a recent internal e-mail sent round the publishing company - those star-beckoning scamps placed a well-known musician atop their priority list.’
    • ‘A retreat into a redemptive enclave of winkingly open-minded post-Marxist scamps, it's nearly pristine in its high-minded tomfoolery.’
    • ‘The DVD features the entire first season, 13 episodes, that find the four scamps in every imaginable sort of scrape.’
    • ‘The cheating scandal upset Maxwell and Anthony so much that they put salt in his sugar, the naughty scamps.’
    • ‘If the little scamp tries anything, I'll be on his throat in a second, as will these guards around here.’
    • ‘While the uber-gathering is undoubtedly for a highly worthwhile cause, both Noel and Damon have raised their hands like cheeky classroom scamps and announced that they have a few ‘issues’ with the whole thing.’
    • ‘Dad's well aware, then, that the little scamps can't give up their penchant for… water balloons.’
    • ‘He's a bit of a charming scamp, a perfect fit for the exuberant, free-wheeling '60s.’
    rascal, monkey, devil, imp, rogue, wretch, mischief-maker, troublemaker, prankster
    scallywag, horror, monster, terror, holy terror
    perisher, pickle
    spalpeen
    tyke, scally
    varmint, hellion
    rip
    rapscallion, scapegrace
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1A wicked or worthless person; a rogue.
      • ‘In that way, it's more noble than a lot of these kinds of movies: you can make an honest man out of a scamp without making him less of a man.’

Origin

Mid 18th century (denoting a highwayman): from obsolete scamp rob on the highway probably from Middle Dutch schampen slip away from Old French eschamper flee the battlefield from champ field.

Pronunciation:

scamp

/skamp/

Main definitions of scamp in English

: scamp1scamp2

scamp2

verb

[WITH OBJECT]dated
  • Do (something) in a perfunctory or inadequate way.

    • ‘Hence it has happened and will happen again, that work which has been undertaken at unremunerative rates has been ‘scamped’ to make it pay.’
    • ‘This is the most interesting aspect of Harvey's story and it is unfortunately scamped.’

Origin

Mid 19th century: perhaps the same word as scamp, but associated in sense with the verb skimp.

Pronunciation:

scamp

/skamp/