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What is the derivation of the word ragamuffin? I can understand the rag bit as a clothing description but thought muffins were something nice to eat.

asked in language

seacommander answers:

A combination of the word ragged, as in rough, and an ending, in this case a muffe or mitten. The name Ragamoffyn was used as the name of a demon in a play and seems to have stuck to represent a disreputable person


Another site gives this as the origin:

‘A muffin is a poor thing of a creature, a 'regular muff'; so that a ragamuffin is a sorry creature in rags.’


I hope this helps.

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