Picaresque: of or relating to rogues or rascals; also : of, relating to, suggesting, or being a type of fiction dealing with the episodic adventures of a usually roguish protagonist.
Picaresque derives from Spanish "picaresco," which means "of or relating to a picaro." The word "picaro," which also derives from Spanish, means "rogue" or "bohemian." "Picaro" describes a type of character that has long been a popular subject for fictional narrative. Typically, the picaresque novel centers around a wandering individual of low standing who happens into a series of adventures among people of various higher classes, often relying on wits and a little dishonesty to get by. The first known novel in this style is Lazarillo de Tormes (circa 1554), an irreverent work about a poor boy who works for a series of masters of dubious character. The novel has been attributed to Diego Hurtado de Mendoza, but his authorship is disputable.