1. with ref. to money [SE rag, a small amount, extended to a small amount and then any sum of money, thus sense 1b the minimally valuable farthing; the mid-19C introduction of banknotes adds secondary ref. to rag, a piece of cloth].
(a) money in general.
|Comedy of Errors IV iv: Money by me! heart and good will you might; But surely, master, not a rag of money.|
|Captain IV ii: jac.: ’Twere good she had a little foolish money, To rub the time away with. host: Not a rag, Not a denier.|
|Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue (3rd edn).|
|Vocab. of the Flash Lang.|
|‘Bobby and His Mary’ in Musa Pedestris (1896) 95: The blunt ran shy, and Bobby brush’d, / To get more rag not fearing.|
|Modern Flash Dict. 27: Rag – money; I’ve no rag, meaning I’ve no notes.|
|N. Carolina Standard (Raleigh, NC) 23 June 4/1: Billy Barlow — A New Rag — Currency Song. We’ll have rags and rag money, and Billy Barlow! [...] So hurra! for the ‘shinnies’ of Billy Barlow.|
|Flash Dict. in Sinks of London Laid Open 97: Balsam, rag, rhino, money.|
|Vocabulum 72: rag A dollar. ‘Not a rag,’ not a dollar.|
|Memoirs of the US Secret Service 91: The restaurant keeper did not object to take these spurious notes [...] these bogus rags could thus readily be passed in that establishment.|
|Musa Pedestris (1896) 176: Suppose you screeve, or go cheap-jack? / [...] / Or thimble-rig? or knap a yack? / Or pitch a snide? or smash a rag?‘Villon’s Straight Tip’ in Farmer|
|Wash. Post 3 July 3/1: We’ve got enough rag ter buy 100 tins at 10 per. It’s a regular puddin’.|
|Keys to Crookdom 415: Rag. Currency.|
(b) a farthing.
|Dict. Canting Crew n.p.: Rag c. a Farthing. Not a Rag left, c. I have Lost or Spent, all my Money.|
|New Canting Dict. [as cit. c.1698].|
|, , ,||Universal Etym. Eng. Dict. [as cit. c.1698].|
|, ,||Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.|
|Dict. Sl. and Cant.|
|Grose’s Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.|
(c) usu. in pl., a banknote, paper money; also attrib.
|DA].M’Fingal 97: O’er heaps of rags, he waves his wand, / All turn to gold at his command [|
|Pettyfogger Dramatized I iii: wolf: Dam’me! couldn’t one get a few of his rags? sly: Why aye, to be sure, master—I’ve got a bit of a rag of his in my pocket, now. There, give me a checque for it, and deduct 20l. for the accomodation. [Ibid.] 109: Rag. An Acceptance, or Note.|
|Tom Crib’s Memorial to Congress 27: The shiners! Lord, Lord, what a bounce do I say! / As if we could hope to have rags done away.|
|Letters of Major J. Downing (1835) 50: ‘None of your rags,’ says I, ‘but the real grit [i.e. gold].’.|
|Bell’s Life in London 5 May 2/1: When there’s neither coin nor rag, / My business must be done complete.|
|N.-Y. Trib. 3 Dec. n.p.: The people may whistle for protection, and put up with what shinplaster rags they can get [B].|
|,||Dict. of Modern Sl. etc.|
|Bell’s Life in Sydney 11 May 3/3: She then took from the mantel sheld a piece of Bell’s Life containing four ‘rags’ for £1 each.|
|Leaves from Diary of Celebrated Burglar 31/1: I wouldn’t take twenty ‘quid’ just now for my ‘rags’.|
|Hoosier Mosaics 34: ‘Hand me in the rag chips — gold don’t feel good to my fingers,’ answered Bill Powell, swaggering again and grasping the currency with a hand that shook with eagerness.|
|Life In Sing Sing 251: Rag. paper money.|
|Criminal Sl. (rev. edn) 188: rag Paper money.|
|DAUL 173/2: Rag. [...] 2. A one-dollar bill. 3. Paper currency.et al.|
|Venetian Blonde (2006) 141: Now I was short of [...] bank rags, he’d help me.|
(d) (US Und.) in pl. counterfeit notes.
|Night Side of N.Y. 63: The counterfeiter [...] usually selects the approach of falling night as the time for putting his worthless ‘rags’ in circulation.|
|Life In Sing Sing 258: Getting the rags from a greaser. Buying counterfeit paper money from an Italian.|
(e) (US Und.) a confidence game based on stocks and shares [ext. of sense 1c, banknote, to any monetary document].
|Big Con 304: The rag An intricate big-con game very similar to the payoff, except that stocks are used instead of races. The insideman poses as an agent for a broker’s syndicate which is trying to break the bucket-shops. The mark profits on several investments, is sent for a large sum of money, and is fleeced.|
|‘Double Take’ in Best of Manhunt (2019) [ebook] One of my first clients was an Englishman who had been taken on the rag, a stock swindle, for $140,000.|
2. as ext. versions of SE.
(a) a flag.
|implied in rag carrier|
|Lays of Ind (1905) 48: [T]he glorious old flag, / Which English affection and slang calls ‘the Rag’.|
|On the Anzac Trail 1: I realised that it was up to me to roll up again and do my bit towards keeping the old rag flying.|
|(con. 1906) Show Biz from Vaude to Video 100: George M. Cohen came through with [...] ‘You’re a Grand Old Flag,’ which he originally wrote as ‘You’re a Grand Old Rag.’.|
|Web of the City (1983) 133: You go on up there with the white rag.|
(b) an article of clothing, esp. a dress; also attrib.; thus raggery, clothes.
|[||R. Corbett ‘The Mad Zealot’ in Merry Drollery Compleat (1875) 235: I keep him aloof, / With armour of proof, / Though here I have never a rag on].|
|Joseph Andrews (1954) I 61: Though there were two greatcoats about the coach [...] The two gentlemen complained they were cold, and could not spare a rag.|
|Sporting Mag. Apr. XVIII 21/1: She never left off a rag, so long as it would hang on her back.|
|Adventures of Gil Blas (1822) II 179: An over-powering band of robbers [...] left us not a rag but what we carry on our backs.(trans.)|
|Man o’ War’s Man (1843) 219: Your own pair of wet heavy woollens, with the never a dry rag under them.|
|Sinks of London Laid Open 49: She had taken every rag he had, even the very shirt off his back.|
|Newcomes I 347: Old hags, such as Michael Angelo painted, draped in majestic raggery.|
|Seven Curses of London 303: If she sees you she’ll tear every rag from your back.|
|Bushranger’s Sweetheart 68: While we had a rag or copper left to steal [...], we knew that we should never get rid o him.|
|‘Child in the Dark’ in Roderick (1972) 683: Your poor wife slaving her fingernails off for you in this wretched hole, and not a decent rag to her back.|
|Truth (Wellington) 6 Apr. 6/2: The big rag emporiums of Christchurch.|
|Penny Showman 17: Old mother EVE, before the Dragon, / Led her stray, had not a rag on.|
|Coll. Stories (1990) 49: I haven’t got any [hats] anyway, but that old rag from last year.‘With Malice Toward None’ in|
|One Basket (1947) 534: It’s the only decent rag I’ve got.‘You’re Not the Type’ in|
|Und. Nights 117: Anyone could drive his rag-van.|
|Mad mag. Jan. 49: His rags were, like, way-out, Pops!|
|Little Boy Blue (1995) 82: Coins fuck up the hang of my rag.|
|Decadence and Other Plays (1985) 122: Spend heart-wrenched hours at the boutique deciding what to wear / ragged up.West in|
(c) a theatre curtain.
|N.Y. in Slices 120: ‘Take that be Jo! Watch! murder! Take him off! Hyst der rag!’ [...] and so up goes the curtain.|
|Life in Boston & N.Y. (Boston, MA) 8 Oct. n.p.: When the ‘rag’ went down, Melton came out and uttered some kind of garbage.|
|Bell’s Life in Sydney 9 Feb. 3/5: [He falls] to the sounds of slow music and the drop of the ‘rag’.|
|Referee 20 June, n.p.: Poor Miss A-- was left for quite a minute before the rag could be unhitched and made to shut out the tragic situation [F&H].|
|F&H].Pomes 44: Which brought down the rag on no end of a mess [|
|Sporting Times 18 Mar. 1/4: His dear old voice could still be heard leading our glee quartette in their ‘Poor ole Joe’ which brought the rag down!|
|Sporting Times 29 Oct. 1/3: The ‘rag’ was about to descend on Act Three.‘At the Cross Roads’|
|Cockney At Home 191: Give the band the cue to play ’em out, and ring down the rag.|
(d) a pocket handkerchief.
|‘Othello’ in Swell!!! or, Slap-Up Chaunter 22: At parting, he gave her a rag; / Says he, – ‘my dear let that keep your sneezer right’.|
|,||Dict. of Modern Sl. etc.|
|Liverpool Mercury 2 Dec. 3/1: In cant a handkerchief would be called a ‘billy’ [...] or a ‘Kent rag’; while in slang it would be called a ‘rag,’ a ‘wipe,’ or a ‘clout’.|
|Burn 3: ‘Want a rag,’ he says [...] ‘Blow while you’re at it.’.|
(e) a towel.
|Fact’ry ’Ands 233: Ther revolvin’ arm [of a machine] was bent out, ’n’ it got home a left lead ’n’ er right cross, ’n’ ther rag went in from ther Pelican’s corner.|
(f) (US) a necktie.
|Wash. Post 10 Dec. 4/5: A necktie is a ‘rag.’.|
(g) a wig.
|Drag (1997) III i: (Clem pushes through the crowd with Duchess’s wig. He throws it to Duchess.) clem: Take your rag.|
(h) a baby’s nappy.
|Three-Ha’Pence to the Angel 128: As soon as the kid’s rags started ’anging about and ’ad ter be washed ’e found ’e ’ad a lot of business outside.|
(i) a bandana.
|Algiers Motel Incident 184: I never saw him in the house without a hat or head rag on.|
|Glitter Dome (1982) 67: He wore his hair processed and had his marcelled hairdo wrapped up in a rag.|
|Central Sl. 17: crip rag A handkerchief to indicate gang membership.|
|Sun. Times Mag. 6 Feb. 24: It’s said that a bandana is also used in a bizarre initiation ritual by The FTRA: three people urinate on a bandana – a ‘rag’ – then a ‘prospect’, prospective recruit, rolls it up and wears it around his neck for at least five days.|
|(con. 1990s) in One of the Guys 49: ‘[T]hey always wore them blue rags and black rags and all that. And, I asked them, “Well you part of a gang?”’.|
(j) (US black) by metonymy from sense 2i, a gang member.
(k) (W.I./UK black) the semi-uniform clothes worn by a ragamuffin n.
|in Living Dangerously 166: For my sentence, I came in rag (ragamuffin’s clothes — unlaced trainers, baseball jacket and jeans).|
(l) an convertible automobile’s soft top.
|? (Pronounced Que) [ebook] KG was driving his old black ’88 Seville with the beige rag.|
3. with ref. to speech [red rag n.] .
(a) the tongue.
|Benno and Some of the Push 142: But you can’t stop little Benjamin once he gets flutterin’ his rag in public.‘Barracking’ in|
|DSUE (1984) 955/1: from ca. 1825.|
(b) abuse, teasing, talk; usu. as ragging.
|‘The Cly-Pecker’ in Swell!!! or, Slap-Up Chaunter 39: Then I heard not a sound – but the slang of her rag.|
|High School Aegis X 15 Feb. 2: He didn’t understand de words I talked, an’ den I’d cut de rag short an’ tell ’im wot dey ment.‘’Frisco Kid’s Story’ in|
|Magnet 15 Feb. 7: It would be a good idea to give him a form ragging.|
|Gem 30 Sept. 12: We shall get an awful ragging from the Head.|
|City Of The World 44: They may not indulge in ‘rags’ or tussles with the police in West End music-halls on Boatrace Night.|
|Mint (1955) 31: When Sailor starts a rag, China produces a superb haw-haw voice that takes off the officer-type.|
|Aus. Women’s Wkly 9 Feb. 13/2: Come on in. We’re having a bit of a rag.|
|Complete Molesworth (1985) 106: All boys get together with super rags wheezes japes and pranks.|
|Sl. U. 156: rag [...] 2. low blow, insult, burn.|
4. a newspaper or magazine [derog. ref. to its worthlessness, but note the use of rags in paper-making].
|[||Examen 323: Would one expect in Print [...] such Malice and Knavery as lies here, scarce fit for Midnight Grubstreet Rags?].|
|Bulletin (Sydney) 21 Aug. 4/2: Mr. Smith’s appointment to the trusteeship of the Public Library seems to have given offence to the religious rag, which denounces ‘Mephisto’s’ predilection for the better observance of the Sabbath as irreligious and profane.|
|Gloucester Citizen 20 Feb. 3/2: A very scurrilous and blackguard article appeared last week in that rag [...] from the pen of Ouida’s bootlicker, Legge.|
|Bulletin (Sydney) 5 July 12/4: Why should we take account of what that obscure little Tory rag says? [...]. A fig for St. James’s Gazette!|
|Complete Stalky & Co. (1987) 266: Now you cut along an’ finish up your old rag, and Turkey and me will help.‘The Last Term’|
|‘Lord Douglas’ in Roderick (1972) 493: The editor of the local ‘Capitalistic rag’ stayed there.|
|Zealandia’s Guerdon 101: We ought to be able to sell about five thousand extra copies of ‘the rag’ next week.|
|Sun. Times (Perth) 6 Mar. 2nd sect. 10/6: The tone of this Bostonian’s letter is not calculated to increase the circulation of the Melbourne rag amongst its white readers .|
|Letters to James Joyce (1968) 31: I can send the two poems to that Chicago rag if you can stand it.letter 21 July in Read|
|Carry on, Jeeves 207: She’s got Rosie to write an article for that rag of hers.|
|Red Wind (1946) 112: You have a story no rag could be made to soft-pedal.‘Blackmailers Don’t Shoot’|
|Loving (1978) 95: What can you believe in these Irish rags?|
|Harder They Fall (1971) 14: You could maybe write up something in one of the rags about him.|
|One Lonely Night 16: The other rag gave me a good spread.|
|letter 6 Nov. in Leader (2000) 341: I thought I had a review in the Spectator, but the bloody rag keeps coming out without my review in it.|
|House For Mr Biswas 357: ‘A capitalist rag,’ he began to say. ‘Just another capitalist rag.’.|
|Psychotic Reactions (1988) 53: Even if I did turn in my chain an’ colors a year or two back for a gig in the rags.|
|1985 (1980) 179: You have enough to do this evening without reading rags or gawping at the box.|
|Traveller’s Tool 19: Described in one foreign rag as ‘the gay capital of the world’.|
|Homeboy 289: The outlaw was still the hero [...] of pulp rags and Saturday serials.|
|Lairs, Urgers & Coat-Tuggers xvi: In the same rag he read how the races were not at Randwick that very day.|
|Guardian Rev. 27 Nov. 6: More a matter for the national media than the local rags.|
|Drop Dead, My Lovely (2005) 51: This Man, one of those men’s lifestyle rags.|
|Broken Shore (2007) [ebook] What this rag doesn’t say is buying Stone’s Creek mouth’s no use unless you can get to it.|
|Hilliker Curse 5: Armand Ellroy subscribed to scandal rags and skin magazines.|
|Caravans & Wedding Bands 11: He headed downstairs to read the paper — the ‘rag’ as he liked to call it.|
(a) (US black) a magazine.
|Orig. Hbk of Harlem Jive 76: Magazine—Rag.|
5. a sheet of paper; a form.
|Bell’s Life in Sydney 20 Apr. 3/2: On Mr Pugh politely stating that cash was the ‘ticket’, Mr Gibson directed his clerk [...] to fill up a ‘slice of rag’ [to which he] thereto affixed his sign Manual.|
(a) (N.Z.) a low playing card in a suit.
|cited in DNZE (1998).|
7. with ref. to menstruation.
(a) a sanitary towel.
|[||‘Experiences of a Cunt Philosopher’ in Randiana 6: I [...] caught her changing the linen bandage she had been wearing round her fanny [...] I tried to get hold of the rag where the dark crimson flood had saturated it at worst].|
|(con. 1927) in Ozark Folksongs and Folklore (1992) II 618: R is for rags, that are used I presume / To wrap up a cunt when it’s nicely in bloom.|
|Naked Lunch (1968) 75: That little bitch of a criada trimming her rag.|
|Get Your Ass in the Water (1974) 213: R is for rag to catch the flow from the womb.|
|Ghetto Sketches 113: I wouldn’t let you fuck it! But you sho’ as hel could suck it! Just as soon as I pull this bloody rag out!|
|Runnin’ Down Some Lines 157: There are also a variety of graphic expressions to characterize sanitary napkins – rag, diaper, jellyroll, jelly sandwich.|
(b) a menstrual period.
|Online Sl. Dict. [Internet] n 1. menstrual period. (‘My rag is really heavy this month.’).|
8. as a derog. [abbr. wet rag under wet adj.1 , but ? ult. 16C–19C SE rag, a derog. description of a person, a ‘rag of a man’].
(a) (N.Z.) a derog. term for a man.
|Hang On a Minute, Mate (1963) 164: There were some tough rags in that little bunch. One king-hit and I was a goner.|
(b) a weakling.
|(con. 1960s) Wanderers 97: If I was a chick lissenen’ to that song I would think . . . man, that guy’s one fuckin’ rag.|
9. (US) a second-rate, run-down car.
|(con. 1986) Sweet Forever 10: Nobody would want to steal this boring rag.|
10. see rag house
11. see rag top
see rag trade
1. a dollar bill [SAmE rag baby, a war bond that had been issued in exchanragge for paper dollars at a time when the value of a paper dollar was 40 cents on the dollar in coin].
|Wkly Kansas Chief (Troy, KS) 30 Dec. 3/2: Police Judge Flick [...] ordered that the aforesaid Thomas Jefferson inflate the city exchequer to the amount of a two dollar ‘rag baby’.|
|Leavenworth Wkly Times (KS) 27 Apr. 1/4: We must sell more than we buy. Then the rag baby and the gold dollar will both stand upon the same platform in peace.|
|Atlanta Constitution 16 Nov. 2/6: ‘The dollar of our daddyites’ and the ‘rag baby,’ as they are pleased to designate silver coin and greenbacks.|
|Record-Union (Sacramento, CA) 20 Oct. 4/6: It’s dollars to ragbabies that there will be an end to them before the clock strikes six.|
|Eve. Public Ledger (Phila., PA) 17 May 8/5: The paper currency of the government is a ‘Rag Baby’.|
2. in attrib. use of sense 1.
|Stark Co. Democrat (Canton, OH) 15 July 1/2: They are opposed to all wild cat, red dog, rag baby money schemes of issuing paper dollars without limit.|
|Daily Capital Jrnl (Salem, OR) 22 July 2/4: Nobody then can advocate that these bonds, bought for rag-baby-value dollars, shall be collected in more than rag-baby-value dollars.|
3. see also SE compounds below.
see separate entry.
an ensign, charged with carrying the flag.
|, ,||Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.|
|Dict. Sl. and Cant.|
|Grose’s Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.|
|Modern Flash Dict.|
|Flash Dict. in Sinks of London Laid Open.|
see separate entries.
a wealthy man.
|Vocab. of the Flash Lang. in McLachlan (1964) 261: rag-gorgy: a rich or monied man, but generally used in conversation when a particular gentleman, or person high in office, is hinted at; instead of mentioning his name, they say, the Rag-gorgy, knowing themselves to be understood by those they are addressing.|
|Grose’s Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue [as cit. 1812].|
|Metropolitan Mag. XIV Sept. 333: We were both of one age and fly; resolved to get a cly full of ridge, if we could but [...] meet with the rag-gorgies.|
(US campus) a person who plays tricks; something unpleasant.
|Campus Sl. Mar. 6: rag out – [...] the cause of disgust or amusement: You rag out! You’re always playing tricks on me.|
a bank; thus rag-shop boss, a banker, rag-shop cove, a banker, a cashier.
|Niles’ Register 29 Aug. 3/2: However, we see in the newspaper; that the cashier of a ‘full bred’ rag shop in the western country, lately stabbed and killed a respectable citizen seeking the payment of debts due to him [DA].|
|Seymour’s Humourous Sketches (1866) 22: [She] takes all the money I get at the rag-shop.|
|(con. 1840s–50s) London Labour and London Poor III 197/1: I’ve got five times as much for writing a squib for a rag-shop as for a ballad that has taken me double that time.|
|It’s Harder for Girls 18: She could get a job in one of the big ragshops in the city.|
a wealthy man.
|Dict. of Modern Sl. etc. 80: RAG SPLAWGER, a rich man.|
|, ,||Sl. Dict. [as cit. 1859].|
1. the purchasing of counterfeit banknotes and the subsequent passing them off to innocent victims.
|Glasgow Citizen 19 Nov. n.p.: Is not the exhilarating ‘short length’ of handy known beyond our own Queen Street that it is not registered here? And we miss the rag trade whose worthy members do the above named goes [F&H].|
2. the garment industry; thus rag trader n., a person in the industry.
|[||Heart of London II i: craig: Aby Houndsditch. aby: Here. covey: Of the Rag Fair Fencibles].|
|[||Nature and Human Nature II 372: His coat [...] had got pawned to a Jew at Rag-alley].|
|Indiscreet Guide to Soho 131: Most of them are in the gown business, known locally as the ‘rag trade’.|
|Und. Nights 92: Several of Wally’s clients had been making fortunes out of the black market end of the rag trade.|
|Oz 3 2/3: Mary Quant [...] and four hundred other original dress designers [...] are making more money each than Balenciaga ever did in the rag trade.|
|Sun. Times Mag. 24 Oct. 74: ‘Hyme, my brother,’ he said, slapping a rag trader on the back.|
|Lily on the Dustbin 88: In the affluent 1960s ‘teenagers’ became a valuable market for the rag trade.|
|Observer Mag. 16 May 30: Chigwell [...] where his father moved after years in the East End rag trade.|
|Guardian 31 Mar. 28: The heart of the West End rag trade, north of Oxford Street.|
the menstrual period.
|Roger’s Profanisaurus in Viz 87 Dec. n.p.: rag week n. [...] 2. The time of the month when the no bathing flags fly.|
|Filth 144: It’s aw fuckin meat tae Bruce Robertson, rag week or no, the bloodier the better!|
|‘Christmas Blackmail’ at www.asstr.org [Internet] She started her periods early and when I got her into bed, all the pretty little innocent that she was, I found it was still her rag week.|
cash (rather than credit).
|Flash Mirror 19: G. Guttle [...] has just opened a slap up grub and bub shop [...] (for ready rag only), where he sells panum, lap and peck of every sort.|
see under dead adj.
see under drop v.1
to show off one’s bankroll.
|Sl. and Its Analogues.|
1. (also get one’s rag up) to lose one’s temper.
|Sheffield Gloss. 185: ‘To get one’s rag out’ is to get into an excessively bad temper.|
|‘Macquarie’s Mate’ in Roderick (1972) 121: Well, old man, you needn’t get your rag out about it.|
|Marvel 17 Nov. 476: Got his rag out because his old father showed him up in front of us.|
|No Man’s Land 220: When the moment comes, and you’ve got your rag out and are seeing red.|
|Ulysses 110: Yes, Menton. Got his rag out that evening on the bowling green because I sailed inside him.|
|Gilt Kid 231: Although she was half doolally she was apt to get her rag out pretty quick.|
|(con. 1890s) Pictures in the Hallway 218: Oh, sit down, and don’t get your rag out.|
|Died in the Wool (1963) 223: I’m sorry if i got my rag out, sir.|
|Und. Nights 17: He had called her a slab-sided cow and that had got her rag out.|
|Billy Bunter at Butlins 44: I say, you fellows, what’s the row? What are you getting your rag out for?|
2. to make someone else angry.
|N&Q Ser. 7 VI 38: To rag a man is good Lincolnshire for chaff or tease. At school to get a boy into a rage was called getting his rag out.|
|Bulletin (Sydney) 5 Nov. 3/2: I thought it up to any bloke to know / The proper time er day to shut ’is ’ead. / ’E got me rag out an’ I told ’im so; / The girl an’ cove ’ad plainly got ’im set, / Though both of them was shick an’ drippin’ wet.|
|Living Rough 176: This got his rag up.|
|Three-Ha’Pence to the Angel 40: We on’y called ’er Agatha to get ’er rag out.|
|Cockade (1965) I iii: You’ve got his rag up now Jupp.‘Prisoner and Escort’ in|
(W.I.) to tease and joke aggressively and competitively.
|Man-of-Words in the West Indies 57: Known by a number of names in the United States, such as rapping or signifying [...] in the West Indies it is called giving rag, making mock, and giving fatigue.|
1. of a woman, to be menstruating.
|‘These Foolish Things’ in(1979) 212: That rusty bedstead we had our first shags on / The week of silence when you had the rags on.|
|‘Whoa Back, Gee Back’ in Mess Songs & Rhymes of the RAAF 33: I took my girl out parking, I laid her on the some bags, / But when I started fooling around, Found she had the [rags].|
|in Ozark Folksongs and Folklore (1992) I 418: Girl with a rag on – NO GOOD!|
|in Sweet Daddy 49: If a babe has the rag on [...] that’s different.|
|(con. 1960s) Wanderers 188: What’s wit’ you, you got the rag on or somethin’?|
|Song of the Silent Snow (1988) 68: Having the rag on is one thing but this ridic—.|
|Boo’s Foster Homes and Beyond 81: Yeah, so we just sat around and talked all night [...] Oh, well, what’s a guy going to do when a broad’s got the rag on?|
2. to act foolishly or eccentrically, to be annoyed.
|Last Exit to Brooklyn 53: Tony’s place is so dreary [...] and I guess I just have the rag on tonight anyway.|
|Cogan’s Trade (1975) 89: He must’ve had the fuckin’ rag on or something.|
|Corruption of Blood 100: Oooh, who’s got the rag on today? [...] Maybe you’re suffering from lack of nooky too.|
|Four Diavolos 202: ‘I guess he’s got the rag on.’ Pino said ‘Fuck him.’.|
to keep one’s temper.
|Yes We have No 148: I didn’t hold my rag.|
to lose one’s temper.
|Confessions of Proinsias O’Toole 158: I lost the rag.|
|Minder [TV script] 50: Daley, I’m going to lose my rag.‘Get Daley!’|
|The Joy (2015) [ebook] I just lose me rag with the cunt. [...] He goes off in a snot.|
|Inside 77: Unless you’re prepared to back it up don’t lose your rag.|
|Miseducation of Ross O’Carroll-Kelly (2004) 128: It’s enough to wreck anyone’s head so eventually I lose the rag with him.|
|Guardian Weekend 23 Oct. 25: Eventually, he lost his rag.|
(UK juv.) extremely angry, in a furious temper.
|OnLine Dict. of Playground Sl. [Internet] (off his...) rag adj. Someone who has lost their temper.|
1. menstruating; thus off the rag.
|Web of the City (1983) 34: She just came off the rag and Candle ain’t gonna waste no time.|
|C. CUSS.et al.|
|Puberty Blues 25: I bluffed it for a few days . . .‘Oh, I’m on m’rags.’.|
|(con. 1963) Lords of Discipline 144: I am the shit that comes from a woman when she’s on the rag!|
|Lily on the Dustbin 31: ‘I’m on my rags’ (or ‘red rags’) is [...] curiously reverting to a time before sanitay napkins were widely available and when strips of towelling and sheets were worn during menstruation.|
|Fixx 233: A feminist magazine (doubtless called On the Rag or some such).|
|Guardian Weekend 28 Aug. 3: The rastafarian who won’t let his girlfriend into the kitchen when she’s ‘on the rag’.|
|Observer Rev. 9 Apr. 12: It’s bad timing that I should be coming on the rag just now.|
|Hellions! 32: He really got his cookies off on guys like that. Then, like a woman off the rag, he got nicer.|
|Good Girl Stripped Bare 26: The menarche, a visit from Aunt Flo, on the rag, the curse, call it what you will.|
|Cherry 266: [S]he pressed against me and grabbed my cock. I tried to take her pants off but she stopped me and said she was on the rag.|
2. irritated, testy, bad-tempered; thus share the rag, to be hostile, to place blame on someone else.
|CUSS 180: Rag, on the Constantly complaining and irritable.et al.|
|Choirboys (1976) 235: He always calls me ‘Sergeant’ when he’s on the rag.|
|Breaks 293: I didn’t know why he was on the rag, but that was his problem.|
|(con. 1985–90) In Search of Respect 23: The fat yak is on the rag. He’ll get over it.|
|Jimmy Bench-Press 67: She’s been on the rag since the other day.|
see under ride v.
(US gay) to be hostile, to pass responsibility onto another.
|Queens’ Vernacular 178: share the rag (kwn SF, ’70) to be hostile; to shift the guilt to another’s shoulders, to pass the buck.|
(US) in fig. use, to control one’s temper, to cheer up.
|Spidertown (1994) 124: Man, I can see you in a lousy mood again. Like, take the rag out already, bro’.|
(US Und.) to perform a stock swindle.
|One Night Stands (2008) 25: I just got finished working the rag in Dallas. [Ibid.] 29: He had told her he had just finished pulling off a rag, a phony stock con.‘Badger Game’ in|
a dismissive excl.; the implication is that the addressee is lit. or fig. suffering from menstrual ill temper.
|Tales of the City (1984) 11: ‘Get off the rag, bitch!’ He left her standing in the frozen food department.|
|I Looked Over Jordan 166: She’d stand, hand on hip, sneering, ‘Get off the rag, Dot’.|
|Higher Ground 131: Well, I hope you get off the rag before rehearsal. One Teresa Spinett is enough.|
|Off the Rag 7: Later, when I heard women being told to ‘get off the rag’ or [...] ‘being such a rag’, I was able to connect these phrases with premenstrual [...] irritability.|
|Portobello Road 36: ‘Oh get off the rag!’ I told her.|
SE in slang uses
a contemptible person, usu. impoverished or dishevelled; also as a derog. term of address.
|Dignity 72: You, rag ass, how come you didn't come when I called you last night?|
|Way Past Cool 273: I ain’t spectin no shit from Wesly an his little rag-asses.|
|Portal in Time 105: It’s classy, not like you, you rag ass.|
|Killing Pool 27: No way in the world is this smacked-up rag-arse getting his yellowing fingertips under my clothes.|
(US black) impoverished, contemptible.
|Never Contract 60: You call that rag-ass young cunt a woman? That’s a fucking stick.|
|Philadelphia Fire 150: These detention-center concentration-camp rag-ass prisons we call public schools.|
1. (US black) a poor, ill-clothed woman, who is nonetheless attractive.
|Jailhouse Jargon and Street Sl. [unpub. ms.].|
2. see also sl. compounds above.
see separate entry.
(US) a backstreet, the poor, run-down part of a city.
|Und. Sewer 107: While the millionaire’s daughter will never reach the condition existing in rag-cat alley the women of our highest society in the underworld comes to the lowest dive and crib.|
see rag bag n.
see separate entry.
1. a cheap rooming house or ‘hotel’, esp. in a town based on an oil-drilling camp.
|Shirley Letters (1949) 49: In this rag and card-board house, one is compelled to hear the most sacred names constantly profaned by the drinkers and gamblers who haunt the bar-room.in|
|From Pithole to California 19: Petroleum Proverbs [...] You can give a toolie water but you can't make him drink. Those who live in a rag house shouldn't throw bones.|
|Biog. of E.W. Hill 99: Every oil rig, every house in the field, large or small, rag-house or oil company camp, all were potential ice customer.|
|(con. 1920s) South of Heaven (1994) 49: Bunking in the dingy half-canvas cot houses — rag houses, they were called.|
2. (also rag) a tent.
|Tenting on the Plains (rev. edn 1895) 117: After narrating the downfall of his ‘rag house,’ he dryly remarked that [...] he was not going to have much uninterrupted sleep.|
|Ohio Educational Mthly 55 205: A little girl down in Meigs county says that a tent is a rag house.|
|Travel 25 42: Forthwith the tent stove is set up in our ‘rag house,’ as the mountaineers call the 9 x I5 foot wall tent.|
|Shoe Workers’ Jrnl 23 22: Evicted miners living in tent colonies, or ‘rag house villages,’ with scarcely any food to feed their families, with only rags to protect their bodies in damp and freezing weather .|
|Wise-crack Dict. 13/1: Rag – Tent in a circus.|
|‘Jargon of the Und.’ in DN V 460: Rag-house, A tent.|
|Amer. Tramp and Und. Sl. 154: Rag House.–A tent.|
aggressively uncouth, very badly mannered.
|Profanesse and Immorality of the Stage (1730) 143: This young Lady, swears, talks smut, and is upon the Matter just as rag-manner’d as Mary the Buxome.|
|letter inBodleian mss (1818) 759: I would not have you think that I am so rag-mannered as not to return you my thanks for your beneficence.|
(US Und.) a team of confidence men working ‘the rag’, a trick based on persuading the victim that they can profit from a fixed stock swindle.
|Texas by the Tail (1994) 101: A rag mob played a rancher against the wall for seventy-five big ones.|
an umbrella, esp. one that is not rolled up.
|Passing Eng. of the Victorian Era.|
1. a truck that has an open back, which, when loaded, is covered with a tarpaulin.
|Motor Truck News 41/1: Rag top: open-top trailer using a tarpaulin for covering.|
|Truck Talk 127: Rag top: 1. a low-sided trailer with metal bows over the top to support a tarpaulin [...] 2. an open top van with a tarpaulin covering over the top.|
2. (also rag) the car or truck’s soft top.
|Collier’s Mag. 115 82: He didn’t have enough gas to drive around and if it really started to rain the rag top of the convertible would leak like a sieve.|
|Hollywood Gothic 100: Eddie’s ragtop had a small tear that let the rain draw a bead on the back of the seat .|
|‘Billy and Bonnie’ [lyrics] Blew down the highway with the ragtop down.|
|Pimp’s Rap 109: He was driving a metallic green Jag with a peanut butter rag.|
|‘Look at Miss Ohio’ [lyrics] Running around with the ragtop down.|
|What It Was 136: She dropped the ragtop of her Pontiac [...] and drove north.(con. 1972)|
3. a car with a ‘convertible’ soft top .
|Life Mag. 22 Mar. 108/1: He centers on a rag-top with a stick that sells for $1,900, then he asks five bills ($500) for his piece.|
|Pop. Science Apr. 88: Your dreams of four-wheeled glory were no match for the tired, but durable folklore perpetuated largely by curbstone experts who have never owned what they derisively call a ‘rag top’.|
|Current Sl. I:2 5/1: Rag top, n. Convertible.|
|Runnin’ Down Some Lines 112: Like you got your pimp ride [...] long and sleeky lookin’, black blade wid a rag top.|
|48 Hrs [film script] Reggie: What kind of car do you want? Jack: A convertible. I’m a rag top man.|
|Golden Orange (1991) 70: A VW ragtop that runs worse than New York City.|
|Layer Cake 263: Across the street was a Merc sports rag-top.|
|‘Front, Back and Side to Side’ [lyrics] Go swing down sweet rag top and let me ride.|
|Viva La Madness 33: An up-and-coming sniff retailer wants to treat himself to a BMW rag-top.|
spirits, esp. gin.
|Dict. Canting Crew n.p.: Rag-water, a common sort of Strong-waters.|
|New Canting Dict. [as cit. c.1698].|
|, , ,||Universal Etym. Eng. Dict. [as cit. c.1698].|
|, ,||Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue n.p.: Rag Water. Gin, or any other common dram: these liquors seldom failing to reduce those that drink them to rags.|
|Lex. Balatronicum [as cit. 1785].|
|Grose’s Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.|
|Vocabulum 72: rag-water Intoxicating liquor of all kinds. If frequently taken to excess, will reduce any person to rags.|
1. (drugs) inferior quality marijuana.
|Drugs from A to Z (1970).|
|Queens’ Vernacular 210: ragweed poor grade of marijuana.|
|Bk of Jargon 338: ragweed: Low-potency marijuana.|
|(con. 1986) Sweet Forever 51: Mutt and Jeff were back on the couch, cooking their heads on some rag weed.|
|ONDCP Street Terms 17: Ragweed — Inferior quality marijuana.|
|ONDCP Street Terms 17: Ragweed — [...] heroin.|
(Irish) a man who pursues a number of women at the same time; thus (cite 1906) the subjects of such attentions.
|The Wife Hunter 130: Those sogers and sailors have a rag on every bush.|
|N&Q 3 ser. 9 June 474/1: A Rag Upon Every Bush. This saying [...] is usually applied to young men who are in the habit of showing ‘marked attention’ to more than one lady at a time. I do not remember having heard it anywhere but in Ireland.|
|Knocknagow 141: ’Tis dhroll [...] I, that had my fling among ’em all, an’ never lost a wink uv sleep on account uv any girl that ever was born, to be this way! Sally Mockler called me a rag on every bush, no later than last night.|
|Contemp. Rev. 51 250: We don’t believe in him; he has ‘a rag on every bush.’ The reference is to ‘well-dressing.’ You will sometimes see a bush near a holy well covered with offerings in the shape of shreds of coloured rag.|
|Daughter in the Fields 141: I was just the same myself when I was his age — a rag on every bush, and ‘whistle and I'll come to ye, my lad,’ with every girl I met.|
|Eng. As We Speak It In Ireland.|
|Mount Music 248: A strong, cocky young boy he is too [...] Sure didn’t I tell him it was what it was he had a rag on every bush !|
|Psychoanalysis 106: His mother said that ‘she was a rag on every bush,’ meaning that she was owned by a great many men. This recalled to him that while he was separated from his wife he met a great many women who were ‘a rag on every bush.’ He did not yield to temptation, but entertained a great many forbidden fancies .|
(US) to surpass, to excel, to outdo.
|Westward Ho! I 123: Well, Sam, you do take the rag off the bush, that’s sartin.|
|Crockett Almanacks (1955) 107: I can take the rag off – frighten the old folks – astonish the natives – and beat the Dutch all to smash.Almanack in Meine|
|Sam Slick in England I 226: Why it’s rather takin’ the rag off the bush, ain’t it?|
|Sam Slick’s Wise Saws I 82: To be the elect of twenty-five millions of free, independent, and enlightened white citizens [...] takes the rag off of European monarchs; don’t it? [Ibid.] 116: ‘Do you hear that, Matey’ said he; ‘don’t that take the rag off the bush?’.|
|Nature and Human Nature I 37: The fun of the forecastle! [...] I think I would back that place for wit against any bar-room in New York or New Orleans, and I believe they take the rag off of all creation.|
|College Words (rev. edn) 384: rag. [...] The common phrase ‘to take the rag off,’ i.e. to excel, seems to be the form from which this word has been abbreviated.|
|Season-Ticket 362: ‘Well! I never in all my born days!’sais I, ‘it takes the rag off the bush quite, that, if you didn’t row them all up Salt River, it’s a pity!’.|
|Gleanings in Bee Culture 5 35: By the by, we are making a bee hive that ‘takes the rag off the bush’.|
|Checkered Life 197: San Francisco by gas-light ‘takes the rag off the bush’.|
|Dumont’s Joke Book 73: That last song took the rag off the bush.|
|Abner Daniel 264: You are a jim-dandy, young man [...] You take the rag off the bush.|
|DN II:v 333: take the rag off, v.phr. To excel; to outshine.‘Dialect of Southeastern Missouri’ in|
|Last Man Off Wake Island 293: The raid simply ‘tore the rag off the bush’ so far as my lofty radio station on Pagoda Hill was concerned.|
|Seraph on the Suwanee (1995) 762: Well, if this don’t take the rag clean off the bush!|
|Down in the Holler 291: Take the rag off the bush: phr. Sometimes this expression denotes only profound astonishment.|
|Public Burning (1979) 110: Gawdamighty, you do take the rag off the bush, boy!|