This blog is for everyone who uses words.

The ordinary-sized words are for everyone, but the big ones are especially for children.

Friday, 25 November 2016

Word To Use Today: ragamuffin.


Is that a bread snack for audiences of Indian classical music?

Sadly, no, though there is a musical connection because the most modern meaning of ragamuffin is dance-oriented reggae.

For much longer, though, a ragamuffin has been a ragged (or, at least, scruffy) person, nearly always a child.

(You say it RAGGaMUFFin.)

Ragamuffin is a rather affectionate term, not heard nearly as often as it should be. This is probably because the adventures children have nowadays are more likely to involve virtual drive-by shootings, world-design, and animal capture than they did in the olden days, when we did exactly the same thing but using mud and sticks.

Ah well.

Word To Use Today: ragamuffin. If all the children you see are too clean and tidy then I suggest you go and splash about in a few puddles yourself. 

Go on: set a good example.

Word To Use Today: ragamuffin. This word comes from a character in 1393 William Langland's poem Piers Plowman. Ragamoffyn is a demon. His name is probably based on the word rag meaning a piece of recycled cloth.

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