1. (US) a gypsy.
|McSorley’s Wonderful Saloon (2001) 177: The Boyaschutza call the nomad women rag-heads.|
2. (US) a Hindu labourer; also attrib.
|Key of the Fields 261: Your raghead friend Ghanda Singh [Ibid.] 340: Call yourself an Amurrican, and go pickin’ up raghead niggers and Chinks and Britishers?|
|Gay-cat 70: They were brown men [... ] with heads wrapped in red, black, yellow and white turbans! [...] ‘It’s the Ragheads, all right — a whole army of Hindoo laborers.’.|
|Central Qld Herald (Rockhampton, Qld) 9 Apr. 50/2: Not long past, Chowder Lal had been a ‘raghead’ up the Scaramento [ibid.] 50/4: The Swami and his two helpers — nee ‘ragheads’ — pulled aside a curtain.|
|Wayward Bus 107: Edgar was still trying to make out where the Hindus wanted to go. ‘The god-damned rag heads,’ he said to himself.|
3. (Aus./US) an Arab native of the Middle East.
|Amer. Tramp and Und. Sl. 154: Rag Head.–An Oriental, one who wears a turban.|
|Advertiser (Adelaide) 28 Jan. 2/5: I was talking to the head of one of the oldest Arab families in Morocco [...] One of the top constructioners [...] walked by. ‘Hi, Ruark,’ he said, ‘who’s the rag-head’.|
|World’s Toughest Prison 814: rag head – An Oriental, one who wears a turban.|
|Midnight Examiner (1990) 41: Bunch of ragheads. They don’t drive a civilized cab.|
|Rogue Warrior (1993) 327: Then they’ll be ready for those ragheads in the Med.|
|Call of the Weird (2006) 168: If it was the ragheads, they knew exactly what they were after.|
|Generation Kill ep. 7 [TV script] Fuckin’ Iraqi cigarettes. Next I’ll be eating raghead pussy.‘Bomb in the Garden’|
|Wash. Post 15 OCt. [Internet] Stein, at various times, yelled at Somali women dressed in traditional garb, calling them ‘f—– raghead b——,’ the complaint says.|
4. (UK/US) a Sikh; also attrib.
|Tourist Season (1987) 183: A raghead Indian or a Tonto Indian?|
|Fresh Rabbit 86: In ordinary slang a Sikh is known as a ‘raghead’.|
5. (US black) with ref. to the bandanna or do-rag n. worn by old ladies and latterly gang members.
(a) one who wears a scarf or bandanna tied round the head; also attrib.
|Black! (1996) 190: The young ‘ragheads,’ as he called them by dint of their habit of tying kerchiefs about their marcels to keep down sweat and protect the sheens.‘Yet Princes Follow’ in|
|Glitter Dome (1982) 67: The brother was one of those dumb old raghead niggers.|
(b) anyone who is not absolutely up to date with current information, gossip, style etc.
|Jailhouse Jargon and Street Sl. [unpub. ms.].|