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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

http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=ragamuffin

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.’

http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/ragamuffin

I hope this helps.


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