Green’s Dictionary of Slang

ragged adj.

1. drunk.

[US]B. Franklin ‘Drinkers Dict.’ in Pennsylvania Gazette 6 Jan. in AS XII:2 92: They come to be well understood to signify plainly that A MAN IS DRUNK. [...] Ragged.

2. of a person or object, second-rate, inferior.

[UK]Bridges Burlesque Homer (3rd edn) 247: Should you kill the ragged fry, / We’ll get the quacks to certify, / That tho’ the whelps some how are dead, / Yet blows could never hurt the head.
[UK]R. Cumberland Wheel of Fortune II i: Here every ragged-headed fellow, with a mahogany face, because he can slip into an eel-skin, and I cannot, slips into favour before me.
[UK]R.B. Peake Devil in London II iii: I see him – there he scampers. I’ll be after him, and shake the ragged fellow out of his tinder.
[UK]Boy’s Own Paper 1 Dec. 132: We must find that ragged boy who was in the shop, and make him confess.
[US]J. Tully Bruiser 107: God save my ragged soul.
[US]O. Strange Sudden Takes the Trail 130: ‘Ragged work,’ he replied cooly.
[US]M. Braly False Starts 241: He [...] fixed us with a ragged hypo taped to an eyedropper.
[UK]J. Sullivan ‘The Russians are Coming’ Only Fools and Horses [TV script] Bit ragged! You liar! You said to me it looked like the one out of Abba.
[US]N. McCall Makes Me Wanna Holler (1995) 311: My shit wouldn’t appear to be so ragged.

3. of an era, unfortunate, ill-fated.

[UK]H. Baumann Londinismen (2nd edn).

4. (orig. Aus.) nervy, out of sorts, ‘under the weather,’ tired.

[Aus]D. Niland Call Me When the Cross Turns Over (1958) 74: Try and get some sleep. You look ragged.
[US]M. Braly Shake Him Till He Rattles (1964) 121: It’s just that I’ve seen so many good heads, strung-out and ragged, behind smack.
[US]J. Simon Sign of Fool 145: I’ll ball you ragged, any fuckin’ way you can dig it.
[US]Eble Campus Sl. Spring 5: ragged – tired.
[UK]Guardian Guide 17–23 July 27: You get off the plane, you’re feeling a little bit ragged.
[UK]K. Richards Life 157: I was feeling so ragged [...] and these brothers were so together.