To begin we have to know the etymological origin of the term bellaco. In this case we can determine that it is a word on which different theories are established in that sense:
-The one that states that it comes from the Celtic “bakkallakos”, which can be translated as “shepherd”.
-The one that comes to determine that it derives from the Basque “vilhakatu”, which is synonymous with “pulling the hair”.
-The one that indicates that it comes from the Latin “bellum”, which can be translated as “battle”.
According to DigoPaul, the term scoundrel can be used to describe someone mean, cunning, devious, evil or diabolical. The adjective, therefore, has a negative connotation. For example: “Deputy Cruz is a scoundrel who shouldn’t be part of this parliament”, “I don’t understand why you lie like a scoundrel, I’ve always been honest to you”, “That man is acting like a scoundrel: someone should stop him ”.
While in some countries Spanish – speaking the concept has frequent use in its other use is strange. In general, the notion is used when trying to attack or disqualify someone.
Suppose a billionaire businessman decides to launch himself into the political arena. The tycoon invests a fortune for his campaign and appears as a rude and aggressive leader against minorities. That is why many people begin to call him a scoundrel: his opinions are not valued, while his proposals are harshly criticized by the majority of the population.
Bellaco, on the other hand, can be an individual who acts with sagacity or cunning: “The rogue detective did not take long to find a reddish hair just above the victim’s bed”, “He is a very skilled and rogue player, that it is very difficult to defend ”.
Of course, we cannot ignore that, for example, in the Anaya Dictionary of the Language it is determined that in countries such as Panama or Ecuador, for example, the term bellaco is used as a synonym for brave.
In addition to all the above, we cannot ignore the existence of a very common phrase in colloquial language that uses the term we are analyzing. We mean “lying like a knave.” It is used to refer to someone lying in a really crafty way and without even feeling some shame about it.
In the Uruguayan department of Río Negro there is a town called Bellaco, which has less than three hundred inhabitants. The town, whose main economic support is forestry activities, takes its name from the Bellaco stream, which runs for about 26 kilometers and forms part of the Río de la Plata hydrographic basin.