There was the following comversation in the Vanity Fair’s (November 14 issue) article that came under the title, “Imagined Celebrity Connections: How Beyoncé Responded to Kim Kardashian’s Paper Magazine Cover”

Kate Middleton meets Harry Styles:

“It’s so nice to meet you, Duchess,” Harry says, shaking Kate’s hand, biting his lip. Kate laughs.

“Now, are you the one who dated Taylor Swift?” Harry smiles sheepishly.


“She saw you in trouble, right?”

“Something like that,” Harry murmurs.

“You know, you remind me of another Harry I know,” she says.

“You’ve got that . . . rascally charm.” Harry looks up, smiling slightly.

“So I’ve always wondered . . . do you, like, eat real food?


OALED defines ‘rascally’ as an adjective of ‘rascal,’ which means a person who shows a lack of respect for other people and enjoying tricks on them.

Collins Cobuild English Dictionary defines ‘rascally person’ as a person who behaves badly and wicked or dishonest.

What does “rascally charm” mean here? What is a charm of a person on earth who behaves badly and wicked or dishonest to you? Is it a complementary / endearment expression, or a simple irony?

1 Answer 1


Rascal is also used with the following meaning : (from Collins English Dictionary)

  • an affectionate or mildly reproving term for a child or old man: you little rascal; the wicked old rascal kissed her.

  • A mischievous or cheeky person, especially a child or man (typically used in an affectionate way): a lovable rascal you are such a rascal! (from ODO).

In the extract 'rascally' is used is in the sense of a friendly way to refer to a person. Here the idea is of a 'fascinating, enchanting' charm.

  • Does it differ from "totally charm / awesomely charm" in Valley girl vernaculars? Is it more characteristic? Nov 16, 2014 at 21:31
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    The word 'rascal' hints at someone who is naughty in a playful and teasing way, and that characteristics can be very seductive when used in a charming way. I think its connotation is more powerful and intriguing than 'totally or awesomely'.
    – user66974
    Nov 16, 2014 at 21:46

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