Top 42 Slang For Badly Behaved – Meaning & Usage

When it comes to describing someone who’s badly behaved, language can be a powerful tool. From cheeky to unruly, there’s a plethora of slang terms out there that can perfectly capture those moments of mischief and mayhem. Join us as we unveil a curated list of the top slang for badly behaved individuals, guaranteed to add a little spice to your vocabulary and keep you in the loop with the latest linguistic trends.

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1. Rascal

A rascal is someone who is mischievous and often causes trouble or annoyance to others. It is typically used to describe someone, usually a child, who is playful in a naughty or disobedient way.

  • For example, “That little rascal keeps stealing cookies from the jar.”
  • In a school setting, a teacher might say, “I need to keep an eye on those rascals during recess.”
  • A parent might scold their child, saying, “You are such a little rascal for drawing on the walls!”

2. Troublemaker

A troublemaker is someone who consistently causes problems or disruptions. This term is used to describe someone who intentionally stirs up trouble or engages in disruptive behavior.

  • For instance, “He’s always starting arguments and causing fights. He’s such a troublemaker.”
  • In a workplace, a co-worker might complain, “She’s a troublemaker who constantly undermines the team’s efforts.”
  • A teacher might address a student, saying, “Stop being a troublemaker and pay attention in class!”

3. Delinquent

A delinquent is someone, typically a young person, who regularly breaks rules or laws. This term is often used to describe someone who engages in criminal behavior or who consistently fails to meet their obligations.

  • For example, “The police arrested the delinquent for shoplifting.”
  • A concerned parent might say, “I’m worried that my teenager is becoming a delinquent.”
  • In a court setting, a judge might refer to a defendant as a delinquent, saying, “The evidence shows that you have a history of delinquent behavior.”

4. Rebel

A rebel is someone who resists or defies authority or societal norms. This term is often used to describe someone who challenges the status quo or goes against the rules and expectations set by others.

  • For instance, “She’s a rebel who refuses to conform to society’s expectations.”
  • In a political context, a protester might be referred to as a rebel, saying, “The rebels are demanding change and equal rights.”
  • A parent might say to their child, “I appreciate your independent spirit, but don’t be a rebel just for the sake of it.”

5. Hooligan

A hooligan is someone who engages in rowdy, unruly, or violent behavior. This term is often used to describe individuals who participate in aggressive or destructive actions, particularly in a group setting.

  • For example, “The hooligans started a riot after the football match.”
  • In a discussion about soccer fans, someone might say, “Hooliganism has been a problem in certain matches.”
  • A witness to a bar fight might describe the participants as hooligans, saying, “The hooligans were throwing chairs and breaking bottles.”

6. Brat

A brat is a term used to describe a child who is spoiled, ill-mannered, or behaves badly. It is often used to refer to someone who is demanding, throws tantrums, or acts entitled.

  • For example, “The brat threw a fit when his parents wouldn’t buy him a new toy.”
  • A frustrated parent might say, “I don’t know what to do with my bratty teenager.”
  • In a conversation about difficult children, someone might comment, “My neighbor’s kid is such a brat, always causing trouble.”

7. Outlaw

An outlaw is a person who has broken the law and is considered a criminal. It is often used to describe someone who engages in illegal activities or lives outside of society’s norms.

  • For instance, “The notorious outlaw robbed a bank and escaped on horseback.”
  • In a discussion about famous outlaws, someone might mention, “Jesse James was a famous outlaw during the Wild West era.”
  • A person might use the term to describe themselves, saying, “I’ve always been a bit of an outlaw, never following the rules.”

8. Renegade

A renegade is a person who defies authority or societal norms. It is often used to describe someone who rebels against the established order or breaks the rules.

  • For example, “The renegade artist refused to conform to traditional art styles.”
  • In a conversation about nonconformity, someone might say, “I admire people who are renegades and challenge the status quo.”
  • A person might describe themselves as a renegade, saying, “I’ve always been a bit of a renegade, never following the crowd.”

9. Rogue

A rogue is a person who behaves in a dishonest, deceitful, or unprincipled manner. It is often used to describe someone who is cunning, unreliable, or acts in their own self-interest.

  • For instance, “The rogue businessman swindled investors out of millions of dollars.”
  • In a discussion about fictional characters, someone might mention, “Han Solo is a classic rogue with a heart of gold.”
  • A person might use the term to describe themselves, saying, “I’ve always been a bit of a rogue, never playing by the rules.”

10. Scoundrel

A scoundrel is a person who is dishonest, untrustworthy, or behaves in a morally questionable manner. It is often used to describe someone who is cunning, mischievous, or engages in deceitful behavior.

  • For example, “The scoundrel tricked his friends into giving him money.”
  • In a conversation about historical figures, someone might say, “Richard III is often portrayed as a scoundrel in Shakespeare’s plays.”
  • A person might use the term to describe themselves, saying, “I’ve always been a bit of a scoundrel, always up to no good.”

11. Miscreant

This term refers to a person who behaves badly or engages in illegal activities. It is often used to describe someone who is disobedient or disrespectful.

  • For example, a teacher might say, “That miscreant student disrupted the entire class.”
  • In a news report about a crime, a journalist might write, “The miscreant was arrested for vandalizing public property.”
  • A parent might scold their child, “Stop acting like a miscreant and start behaving!”

12. Hoodlum

This slang term is used to describe a person who is involved in criminal activities or behaves in a violent and aggressive manner. It is often associated with gang members or individuals who engage in illegal behavior.

  • For instance, a witness might say, “I saw a group of hoodlums vandalizing the park.”
  • In a movie about organized crime, a character might be referred to as a “hoodlum.”
  • A police officer might warn a citizen, “Stay away from that neighborhood, it’s known for its hoodlum activity.”

13. Vandal

A vandal is someone who intentionally destroys or damages property, often in a public or communal setting. This term is commonly used to describe individuals who deface buildings, monuments, or other objects.

  • For example, a headline might read, “Vandals spray-paint graffiti on historic statue.”
  • A witness might say, “I saw a group of vandals smashing car windows.”
  • A concerned citizen might complain, “The city needs to do something about these vandals ruining our neighborhood.”

14. Ruffian

A ruffian is a person who is rough, tough, and engages in violent or criminal behavior. It is often used to describe someone who is aggressive, uncivilized, or lacks manners.

  • For instance, a victim might describe their attacker as a “ruffian.”
  • In a historical novel set in a rough neighborhood, the protagonist might encounter various ruffians.
  • A teacher might scold a student, “Stop behaving like a ruffian and show some respect!”

15. Ne’er-do-well

This term refers to a person who is considered lazy, unproductive, or lacking ambition. It is often used to describe someone who fails to fulfill their responsibilities or engage in positive actions.

  • For example, a frustrated parent might say, “My son is a ne’er-do-well who refuses to get a job.”
  • In a comedy movie, a character might be portrayed as a lovable ne’er-do-well who eventually turns their life around.
  • A disappointed friend might comment, “I can’t rely on him, he’s always been a ne’er-do-well.”

16. Rapscallion

A rapscallion is a mischievous or rascally person who often causes trouble or engages in playful but disruptive behavior.

  • For example, “The rapscallion snuck into the school and set off the fire alarm.”
  • A parent might say, “My son is such a rapscallion, always getting into trouble.”
  • In a group of friends, someone might jokingly say, “You’re such a rapscallion, always pulling pranks!”

17. Cad

A cad is an unprincipled or dishonorable person, often characterized by their deceitful or dishonest behavior.

  • For instance, “He cheated on his girlfriend? What a cad!”
  • A person might say, “Don’t trust him, he’s a cad who will do anything to get what he wants.”
  • In a conversation about relationships, someone might warn, “Stay away from cads, they’ll only break your heart.”

18. Knave

A knave is a dishonest or unscrupulous person who often engages in deceitful or cunning behavior to achieve their own ends.

  • For example, “He tricked his way into the company’s board of directors? What a knave!”
  • In a discussion about politics, someone might say, “Beware of knaves who will say anything to win votes.”
  • A person might describe a con artist by saying, “He’s a knave who preys on unsuspecting victims.”

19. Scallywag

A scallywag is a mischievous or roguish person who often engages in playful but disruptive behavior, similar to a rapscallion.

  • For instance, “The scallywag stole all the cookies from the jar.”
  • A parent might say, “My daughter is such a scallywag, always playing pranks on her siblings.”
  • In a group of friends, someone might affectionately refer to another as a scallywag, saying, “You’re such a scallywag, always keeping us on our toes!”

20. Rowdy

A rowdy is a person who behaves in a loud, boisterous, or disorderly manner, often causing disruption or disturbance in their surroundings.

  • For example, “The rowdy group of fans shouted and cheered throughout the entire game.”
  • In a discussion about nightlife, someone might say, “That bar is always filled with rowdies who can’t handle their alcohol.”
  • A person might describe a rowdy party by saying, “It was a wild and rowdy night, with people dancing on tables and shouting.”

21. Thug

A thug is a person, typically involved in criminal activities or belonging to a gang. The term is often used to describe someone who engages in violent or illegal behavior.

  • For example, “The neighborhood is plagued by thugs who intimidate residents.”
  • In a news report about a robbery, the journalist might refer to the perpetrator as a thug.
  • A character in a movie might say, “Watch out for those thugs, they’re dangerous.”

22. Villain

A villain is someone who is seen as wicked, evil, or malicious. In the context of slang for badly behaved, a villain refers to someone who intentionally engages in bad behavior or acts with ill intentions.

  • For instance, “He’s always causing trouble and being a villain.”
  • In a discussion about a person’s negative actions, someone might say, “That guy is a real villain.”
  • A teacher might describe a student who consistently disrupts class as a villain.
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23. Malefactor

Malefactor is a term used to describe someone who has committed an offense or engaged in wrongdoing. It is often used in a more formal or literary context to refer to a person who behaves badly.

  • For example, “The court convicted the malefactor of multiple crimes.”
  • In a historical novel, the author might describe a character as a malefactor.
  • A news article about a notorious criminal might use the term malefactor to emphasize their wrongdoing.

24. Lout

A lout is someone who is considered rude, uncouth, or ill-mannered. It is often used to describe someone who behaves badly or lacks social grace.

  • For instance, “He was being a lout and shouting at everyone in the restaurant.”
  • In a conversation about someone’s disrespectful behavior, one might say, “Don’t be such a lout.”
  • A person recounting an unpleasant encounter might say, “I had to deal with a lout on the train today.”

25. Misfit

A misfit is someone who does not fit in with the norms or expectations of a group or society. In the context of slang for badly behaved, a misfit refers to someone who behaves in a way that goes against societal norms or expectations.

  • For example, “He’s always causing trouble and being a misfit.”
  • In a discussion about someone’s unconventional behavior, someone might say, “She’s a bit of a misfit, but that’s what makes her unique.”
  • A teacher might describe a student who consistently disrupts class as a misfit.

26. Hellion

A hellion is a person, typically a child, who is mischievous, unruly, or causes trouble. It is often used to describe someone who is difficult to control or discipline.

  • For example, “The neighborhood kids call him a hellion because he’s always causing trouble.”
  • In a school setting, a teacher might say, “That student is a hellion in the classroom.”
  • A parent might complain, “I don’t know what to do with my little hellion, he’s constantly getting into trouble.”

27. Black sheep

A black sheep is someone who is seen as different or deviant from the rest of their family or group. It is often used to describe someone who behaves in a way that is considered unacceptable or goes against societal norms.

  • For instance, “John is the black sheep of the family because he dropped out of college and started his own business.”
  • In a group of friends, someone might say, “I feel like the black sheep because everyone else is getting married and having kids.”
  • A person might reflect, “Being the black sheep can be tough, but it also gives you the freedom to be yourself.”

28. Scamp

A scamp is a person, often a child, who is mischievous, playful, or full of energy. It is a term used to describe someone who is lively and sometimes causes trouble in a harmless or amusing way.

  • For example, “The little scamp managed to get into the cookie jar again.”
  • In a playful tone, someone might say, “You’re such a scamp, always finding ways to make us laugh.”
  • A parent might affectionately refer to their child as a scamp, saying, “My little scamp keeps me on my toes.”

29. Menace

A menace is someone who poses a threat or danger to others. It is often used to describe someone who behaves in a way that is harmful or disruptive.

  • For instance, “The neighborhood kids see him as a menace because he’s always starting fights.”
  • In a workplace setting, a coworker might say, “He’s a menace to productivity, always causing distractions.”
  • A teacher might use the term to describe a disruptive student, saying, “She’s a menace in the classroom, constantly disrupting the lesson.”

30. Pest

A pest is someone who is annoying or bothersome. It is often used to describe someone who is constantly causing trouble or irritation.

  • For example, “My little brother can be such a pest, always bothering me when I’m trying to concentrate.”
  • In a social setting, someone might say, “That guy at the party was a real pest, always trying to start arguments.”
  • A coworker might complain, “She’s a pest in the office, always gossiping and causing drama.”

31. Mischief-maker

This term refers to a person who causes mischief or trouble. A mischief-maker often engages in pranks, practical jokes, or other disruptive behavior.

  • For example, “The class clown is always the mischief-maker, constantly pulling pranks on the teacher.”
  • In a discussion about unruly children, someone might say, “My little brother is such a mischief-maker, always getting into trouble.”
  • A parent might warn their child, “Don’t hang out with that group of kids, they’re all mischief-makers.”

32. Vagabond

A vagabond is a person who wanders from place to place, often with no permanent home or job. It can also refer to someone who lives a carefree or unconventional lifestyle.

  • For instance, “He’s a vagabond, traveling the world with just a backpack.”
  • In a conversation about free-spirited individuals, one might say, “She’s a true vagabond, always seeking new experiences.”
  • A person might describe their own adventurous nature by saying, “I’ve always had a bit of a vagabond spirit.”

33. Wild child

A wild child is someone who behaves in a reckless, unpredictable, or unconventional manner. It often refers to a person, usually young, who disregards rules and societal expectations.

  • For example, “She’s a real wild child, always getting into trouble and breaking the rules.”
  • In a discussion about parenting challenges, someone might say, “Raising a wild child can be exhausting, but also rewarding.”
  • A person might describe their own rebellious nature by saying, “I was a bit of a wild child in my younger days.”

34. Tearaway

A tearaway is a person, often young, who is known for being reckless, impulsive, or uncontrollable. It can also refer to someone who is constantly getting into trouble or causing disruptions.

  • For instance, “He’s a real tearaway, always causing chaos wherever he goes.”
  • In a conversation about misbehaving kids, one might say, “The tearaway in the class is always disrupting the lessons.”
  • A teacher might describe a particularly challenging student by saying, “He’s a tearaway, constantly pushing boundaries and testing authority.”

35. Brute

A brute is a person who is aggressive, violent, or behaves in a cruel and intimidating manner. It can also refer to someone who uses their physical strength to dominate or harm others.

  • For example, “He’s a real brute, always picking fights and intimidating others.”
  • In a discussion about workplace harassment, someone might say, “We need to address the issue of brutes in the office.”
  • A person might describe their own experiences with bullies by saying, “I was a victim of a brute in high school, and it was a traumatic experience.”

36. Degenerate

This term refers to someone who has deviated from accepted norms or standards of behavior. It is often used to describe individuals who engage in immoral or unethical actions.

  • For example, “He’s a degenerate gambler who has lost everything.”
  • In a discussion about social decay, one might say, “Society is becoming more degenerate with each passing generation.”
  • A person might use this term to insult someone by saying, “You’re nothing but a degenerate.”

37. Wretch

This word is used to describe someone who is considered to be despicable or deserving of pity. It often conveys a sense of disgust or disdain towards the person being referred to.

  • For instance, “He’s such a wretch for taking advantage of vulnerable people.”
  • In a discussion about a person’s unfortunate circumstances, one might say, “She’s a wretch who has had a difficult life.”
  • A person might use this term to express their disapproval by saying, “You’re a wretch for treating others so poorly.”

38. Punk

This term is used to describe someone who is considered to be disrespectful, rebellious, or aggressive. It often carries a negative connotation and is commonly used to refer to young troublemakers.

  • For example, “He’s just a punk who likes to cause trouble.”
  • In a discussion about unruly teenagers, one might say, “These punks need to be taught some discipline.”
  • A person might use this term to express their frustration by saying, “I can’t stand these punks who think they can do whatever they want.”

39. Juvenile delinquent

This term is used to describe a young person who has a history of engaging in illegal or antisocial activities. It is often used in a legal or criminal justice context to refer to individuals who are under the age of 18.

  • For instance, “The court is trying to rehabilitate the juvenile delinquent.”
  • In a discussion about the causes of youth crime, one might say, “Socioeconomic factors can contribute to juvenile delinquency.”
  • A person might use this term to express their concern by saying, “We need to address the root causes of juvenile delinquency.”

40. Rake

This term is used to describe someone who is known for their promiscuity or excessive indulgence in sensual pleasures. It often conveys a sense of disapproval or judgment towards the person being referred to.

  • For example, “He’s a rake who has had many affairs.”
  • In a discussion about historical figures, one might say, “Lord Byron was notorious for being a rake.”
  • A person might use this term to express their moral outrage by saying, “He’s nothing but a rake who preys on innocent people.”

41. Scally

This term is used to describe a person, usually a young individual, who is involved in petty crimes or disruptive behavior. It can also refer to someone who is rebellious or disobedient.

  • For example, “The neighborhood has been dealing with a group of scallies causing trouble.”
  • A teacher might say, “I have a few scallies in my class who constantly disrupt the lesson.”
  • A parent might express concern, “I’m worried that my child is hanging out with scallies and getting into trouble.”

42. Malcontent

A malcontent is someone who is dissatisfied or discontented with the existing situation and often expresses their discontent through disruptive or rebellious behavior. It can also refer to a person who constantly complains or finds fault in everything.

  • For instance, “The new employee is a malcontent who constantly stirs up drama in the office.”
  • A teacher might say, “Dealing with malcontents in the classroom can be challenging.”
  • A friend might describe someone, “She’s always complaining about everything. Such a malcontent!”