Word of the day


Definition: this word refers to a person who is dressed in old and dirty clothes.

For example: I send my children to school dressed smartly, and they come home like little ragamuffins!


  • Beggar
  • Waif
  • Urchin
  • Orphan
  • Tramp

What to know about the word?

Participants in a ragamuffin parade around 1910.

What to know about the word
Ragamuffin has a long history of referring to a ragged person, but in the early 19th century the word became associated with children who would dress up for Thanksgiving as ragamuffins and parade begging, parodying panhandling. Although these “ragamuffin parades” have died out, children continue to dress up, but now on Halloween.

Ragamuffin’s Origin

The origin of the word ragamuffin is somewhat uncertain.
In Middle English the word functioned as a surname and generically to denote something unequal and sometimes a stupid person.

Its earliest known literary use is in William Langland’s English in the poem Piers Plowman, in which it appears as the name of a demon.


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