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"Sawney" was a derogatory English nickname for Scotsmen, since the days after the accession of James VI of Scotland to the English throne (as James I of England). "This vulgar epithet, however, was dying out fast by the 1880s, and was obsolete by the 20th century", according to wikipedia. Sawney was also "a common figure of fun in English cartoons", or a racist caricature of a Scot. Sawney can simply mean fool or simpleton, as well.

"It has also been suggested that the Scottish cannibal Sawney Bean may have been a fabrication to emphasise the alleged savagery of the Scots." Sawney Bean was the legendary head of a clan of inbred cannibals living in a cave in Galloway, Scotland in the 16th century. He and his family have inspired such horror film classics as The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974) and The Hills Have Eyes (1977).
― Anonymous User  8/19/2010
In Taggerung (one of the Redwall books), the Chief of the Juskarath tribe is named Sawney Rath (his last name, Rath, is where the tribe gets its name). He is a ferret and the surrogate father of Tagg (aka Deyna), the Taggerung (the Taggerung is like a great warrior-hero to the tribe). A stoat named Antigra killed him to let her son Gruven become the Chief.
Pippin  3/16/2008

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