Green’s Dictionary of Slang

rag v.1

1. in senses of verbal or physical harassment [despite chronology, presumably link to rag n.1 (3b); ? abbr. bullyrag v.] .

(a) [mid-18C+] to scold, to talk severely to.

(b) [19C+] (also rag on) to annoy, to tease (esp. in context of school or university).

(c) [20C+] to attack, to cause trouble; in context, to rob.

(d) [1900s] (US campus) to talk nonsense.

(e) [1910s] to fight, to beat up; to manhandle.

(f) [1910s] (UK juv.) to create disorder.

(g) [1910s] to argue over a topic, to wrangle.

(h) [1970s] (US) to gossip.

(i) [1970s+] to complain.

(j) [2000s] to question closely, to interrogate.

2. [mid-19C] to share, esp. to divide up the proceeds of a crime; thus go rags, to share out [? SE rag, to tear in pieces].

3. with ref. to menstruation.

(a) [1960s+] to menstruate.

(b) [1970s+] to be irritable.

4. [1990s+] (US black) to dress (fashionably).

In compounds

In phrases

rag on (v.)

1. [1980s+] (US) to nag, to criticize.

2. see sense 1b above.

rag out (v.)

[1980s] to abuse verbally.

rag talk (v.)

[2000s] to threaten; thus n. rag-talk, a whining plea.