scaramouch \skair-uh-MOOSH\ noun
1 capitalized : a stock character in the Italian commedia dell'arte that burlesques the Spanish don and is characterized by boastfulness and cowardliness
2 a : a cowardly buffoon *b : rascal, scamp
Example sentence:My great uncle was an untrustworthy old scaramouch.
Did you know?In the commedia dell'arte, Scaramouch was a stock character who was constantly being cudgeled by Harlequin, which may explain why his name is based on an Italian word meaning "skirmish," or "a minor fight." The character was made popular in England during the late 1600s by the clever acting of Tiberio Fiurelli. During that time, the name "Scaramouch" also gained notoriety as a derogatory word for "a cowardly buffoon" or "rascal." Today not many people use the word (which can also be spelled "scaramouche"), but you will encounter it while listening to Queen's ubiquitous rock song "Bohemian Rhapsody," in the lyric "I see a little silhouetto of a man / Scaramouche, Scaramouche, will you do the fandango?"
*Indicates the sense illustrated in the example sentence.