One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
nounIrish English, English Regional, Scottish, Northern
1An idle, worthless person, a scoundrel; a ragged, disreputable-looking person, a ragamuffin.
2As a mass noun: rabble, riff-raff.
adjectiveIrish English, English Regional, Scottish, Northern
Worthless, good-for-nothing; rough, ragged.
Early 17th century; earliest use found in John Healey (c1585–c1616), translator. Origin uncertain. Perhaps from rag, with a second element of unknown origin.
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