Green’s Dictionary of Slang

rasper n.

[SE rasp, to rub roughly; hunting j. rasper, a high fence that is hard to jump]

1. a person or thing of an unpleasant character.

[UK] ‘The Sawyer and the Lawyer’ in Merry Melodist 8: Cried Jack the saw rasper, I say neighbour Grasper.
[UK] ‘Handy Andy’ in Bentley’s Misc. Apr. 380: Mind the next quickset hedge – that’s a rasper, it’s a wide gripe, and the hedge is as thick as a wall.
[Aus]Bell’s Life in Sydney 23 Oct. 2/4: The rasper commenced bullying.
Freeman’s Jrnl (Sydney) 6 Feb. 5/3: [T]he Colonel replied, with well-affected slang, that he and his friend [...] were a couple of ‘raspers,’ who had been down from London on a ‘little job’.
[UK]‘Old Calabar’ Won in a Canter I 16: The hard-riding Major Rasper.
[UK]Music Hall & Theatre Rev. 5 July 7/2: [Y]ou’ll see what a fearful rasper / They’ll get on the hurdles of common sense.
[Aus]‘Rolf Boldrewood’ In Bad Company 395: Then came our rasper, the dead-wood fence, a kind of wooden wall.
[Ire]Share Slanguage.

2. anything remarkable or extraordinary.

[Ire]W.H. Maxwell Rambling Recollections of a Soldier of Fortune 108: It was in truth ‘a regular rasper’.
[Aus]‘A Week in Oxford! in Bell’s Life in Sydney 15 Nov. 4/1: About our second or third rasper was the well-known Bicester Brook, about six yards across, with, in the part at least where I took it, very awkward and rotten banks.
[UK]F.E. Smedley Frank Fairlegh (1878) 272: Mind your eye, and look out for squalls, for that’s a rasper, and no mistake.
[Aus]Bell’s Life in Sydney 28 Nov. 3/5: A regular rasper on the breadbasket and frontispiece.
[UK]Besant & Rice Golden Butterfly II 184: Phew! it will be a rasper, the talk of to-day.
[UK]W.S. Gilbert ‘The Mystic Selvagee’ Fifty ‘Bab’ Ballads 271: On Tuesday morning I could swear / That selvagee should not be there. / The knot’s a rasper!

3. a violin.

[Aus]Bell’s Life in Sydney 29 Aug. 2/5: [headline] A Fiddler’s Row [...] In the struggle his rasper was fractured.

4. a very noisy breaking of wind.

[Ire]P. Boyle At Night All Cats Are Grey 61: Trust Scroggy to discharge a rasper.