One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A person who deserves or is likely to be hanged; a rogue, a scoundrel. Also in weakened sense: a mischievous or rascally person.
Deserving or likely to be hanged; roguish, villainous. Also in weakened sense: mischievous, rascally.
Early 16th century; earliest use found in William Dunbar (?1460–?1530), poet and courtier. From widdie + -ful.
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