Green’s Dictionary of Slang

ragged-arsed adj.

also ragged-arse, raggedy-arsed, -ass, -assed, -pants, raggety-ass, raggly-ass
[SE ragged + -arsed sfx/-ass sfx/-assed sfx]

1. of people, disreputable, seedy, run-down.

[[UK]G. Colman Yngr John Bull II iii: You were thump’d about, a poor, unoffending, ragged-rump’d boy].
[UK]Crim.-Con. Gaz. 3 Nov. 87/2: Mass Denham say to him — ‘What am your name?’ — ‘Ragged a— Bill’ say de chap.
[UK]‘Walter’ My Secret Life (1966) VI 1167: Fucked by someone I knew she would be soon. — Some ragged arsed coster perhaps.
[US](con. WWI) L. Nason ‘Among the Trumpets’ in Mason Fighting American (1945) 459: Ninety per cent o’ this here raggedy-pants cadet outfit ain’t never been on a horse before.
[US]L. Uris Battle Cry (1964) 139: The raggedy assed Marines are on parade.
[US](con. 1950) E. Frankel Band of Brothers 266: We had us a real raggedy-ass cockfight till some thievin’ limey ate my best rooster.
[UK]J. Osborne Epitaph for George Dillon Act III: You spend your time dabbling in politics, and vote in some ragged-arsed bunch of nobodies.
[US]J. Baldwin Blues for Mister Charlie 30: I ain’t royalty. I’m just a raggedy-assed, out-of-work, busted musician.
[US]D. Pearce Cool Hand Luke (1967) 53: You ain’t allowed to be no lazy, raggety ass tramp no more.
C. Sellers Where Have All the Soldiers Gone 127: They’re all poor [...] from ragged-ass poor to just under the surface poor.
[US]E. Bunker No Beast So Fierce 268: For Christ’s sake, I’ve got an old lady and crumb snatchers. I’m just a raggedy ass dope fiend.
[Aus](con. 1941) R. Beilby Gunner 76: Not like our ragged-arsed army.
[US](con. 1969) M. Herr Dispatches 91: ‘Oh no, you raggedy-assed bastard,’ Gunny said when he got back to the outfit.
[US](con. 1970) J.M. Del Vecchio 13th Valley (1983) 286: ‘Get that raggedyass outfit movin,’ the Green Man screamed.
[UK](con. WWII) J. Robinson Jack and Jamie Go to War 150: He’d been at school with me, a ragged-arsed pupil at St. Jude’s.
[US](con. c.1970) G. Hasford Phantom Blooper 47: The only people I’ve ever understood and the only people who ever understood me are these hard-headed raggedy-assed grunts.
[US]Simon & Burns Corner (1998) 105: A couple of raggedy-ass, dope-eyed black men stumbling through a county shopping center.
[UK]K. Sampson Outlaws (ms.) 38: Lowlife raggedy-arsed bastards.
[US]J. Ellroy ‘Little Sleazer & the Mail-Sex Mama’ in Destination: Morgue! (2004) 160: Victim and Suspect [...] reign rancorous and raggedy-ass. They won’t mount a media Matterhorn.
[UK]Indep. 16 May 30/1: I’ve worked my way up from being a raggedy-arsed kid.
M. Mellon ‘Death of a one-Percenter’ in ThugLit Mar. [ebook] ‘[Y]our raggedy-ass pissant neighbors’.
[US]J. Ellroy Widespread Panic 180: ‘You’re the most raggedy-assed pimp I’ve ever seen’.

2. of clothes, tattered.

[UK]J. Curtis Look Long Upon a Monkey 93: Wanted to be all ponced up when you was lifted, so’s the boys wouldn’t see you coming ragged-arsed into the nick.
[US]J. Thompson South of Heaven (1994) 3: Hardly a man-jack among them with more than [...] the raggedy-ass clothes he wore.
[US]E. Liebow Tally’s Corner 95: Shit. If they love them, would they let them go hungry? In raggedy-ass clothes?
[US]E. Thompson Garden of Sand (1981) 108: You can only mend so much, then its a raggedy-assed show from top to bottom.
[UK]A. Close Official and Doubtful 239: I see the raggedy-arsed look is in this year.
[UK]Indep. Rev. 21 Oct. 7: He later described himself as a ‘ragged-arsed East End little Yiddisher kid from the ghetto’.

3. (also raggedy-butt) of things or places, worthless.

[US]A. Moody Coming of Age Mississippi 177: Hollywood bedroom set! In that little raggly-ass house.
[UK]B. Beckham My Main Mother 132: Look at you! Driving an old raggedy-ass station wagon.
[US](con. 1945) E. Thompson Tattoo (1977) 343: Outside his booth everything seemed still to be dying and more raggedyassed than ever.
[US]J. Wambaugh Choirboys (1976) 87: She think she be gittin the house and the car because this old man wif a brain like pigfeet made some kinds raggedy ass agreement she think is a legal will.
[US](con. 1930s) C.E. Lincoln The Avenue, Clayton City (1996) 149: Them ol’ rednecks [...] jump on them ol’ raggedy-assed trucks some of ’em got.
[US](con. 1968) W.E. Merritt Where the Rivers Ran Backward 218: Raggedy-assed fucking way to run a war, if you ask me.
[US]W.D. Myers Game 34: We went downtown to their raggedy-butt gym.