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”.
The term knave can be used to rate someone mean, sly, devious, evil or diabolical. The adjectiveTherefore, it has a negative connotation. For instance: “Deputy Cruz is a scoundrel who should not be part of this parliament”, “I don’t understand why you lie like a scoundrel, I’ve always been honest with you”, “That man is acting like a rogue: someone should stop him”.
While in some countries In Spanish speaking, the concept is frequently used, in others its use is strange. In general, the notion is used when it is intended assault 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’s why many people they begin to rate it as knave: their opinions are not valued, while their proposals are harshly criticized by the majority of the population.
Bellaco, on the other hand, may be an individual who acts with sagacity or cunning: “It didn’t take long for the rogue detective to find reddish hair just above the victim’s bed.”, “He is a very skilled and mischievous player, who 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 scoundrel.” 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 Black river there is town called Knave, which has less than three hundred inhabitants. The town, whose main economic support is forestry activities, takes its name from Bellaco stream, which covers about 26 kilometers and is part of the hydrographic basin of the Silver river.