Chiefly Brit. a rascal; rogue; scamp: term now common only in South Africa
Origin of skellumEarly Modern English from Dutch schelm, akin to Old High German skelmo, one deserving to die from Indo-European base an unverified form (s)kel-, to cut from source shell, helm
- Robert Burns, Tam O' Shanter (lines 17-22)
- O Tam! had'st thou but been sae wise,As taen thy ain wife Kate's advice!She tauld thee weel thou was a skellum,A blethering, blustering, drunken blellum;That frae November till October,Ae market-day thou was na sober.