Alternate phraseology: "ragged on us". Also what old socks and t-shirts become. And now for something completely different: A rag is a shortening of the word ragtime, used as a noun in place of "ragtime music piece". Ex: "Are you going to play your rag at the concert?"

1. Newspaper. "The rags are always beefing (complaining) how cons (convicts) are pampered in stir (prison). I wish one of them crumbs (contemptible fellows) would pull a bit (serve a prison term)." 2. A one-dollar bill. 3. Paper currency.

- american underworld dictionary - 1950

As a noun this is the distinctive group phraseology for a number of colts.

Example: You can often see a rag of colts playing in the field beside my house.

Checked against my copy of The Quickaway Crossword Dictionary, compiled by H. W. Hill and published by Morrison & Gibb Ltd. Although undated, it would appear to have ben published during the period 1955-1957

Rags, though valueless for most purposes, are yet of great importance in the arts, particularly in paper making. Besides the rags collected in the United States, the article is imported in large quantities from various foreign countries. Woolen rags, not being available for paper, are much used for manure; but those of a loose texture, and not too much worn, are unraveled by means of machinery, and mixed up with good wool, to form what is known as "shoddy," with which cheap woolen goods are made; while the refuse is pulverized and dyed various colors, to form the flock used by paper stainers for their flock-papers.

Entry from Everybody's Cyclopedia, 1912.

Rag (rag), v. t. [Cf. Icel. rægja to calumniate, OHG. ruogen to accuse, G. rügen to censure, AS. wrEgan, Goth. wrOhjan to accuse.]

To scold or rail at; to rate; to tease; to torment; to banter. [Prov. Eng.] Pegge.


© Webster 1913

Rag, n. [OE. ragge, probably of Scand. origin; cf. Icel. rögg a tuft, shagginess, Sw. ragg rough hair. Cf. Rug, n.]


A piece of cloth torn off; a tattered piece of cloth; a shred; a tatter; a fragment.

Cowls, hoods, and habits, with their wearers, tossed.
And fluttered into rags.

Not having otherwise any rag of legality to cover the shame of their cruelty.

2. pl.

Hence, mean or tattered attire; worn-out dress.

And virtue, though in rags, will keep me warm.


A shabby, beggarly fellow; a ragamuffin.

The other zealous rag is the compositor.
B. Jonson.

Upon the proclamation, they all came in, both tag and rag.

4. (Geol.)

A coarse kind of rock, somewhat cellular in texture.

5. (Metal Working)

A ragged edge.


A sail, or any piece of canvas. [Nautical Slang]

Our ship was a clipper with every rag set.

Rag bolt, an iron pin with barbs on its shank to retain it in place. --
Rag carpet, a carpet of which the weft consists of narrow strips of cloth sewed together, end to end. --
Rag dust, fine particles of ground-up rags, used in making papier-maché and wall papers. --
Rag wheel.
(a) A chain wheel; a sprocket wheel.
(b) A polishing wheel made of disks of cloth clamped together on a mandrel. --
Rag wool, wool obtained by tearing woolen rags into fine bits; shoddy.


© Webster 1913

Rag (rag), v. i. [imp. & p. p. Ragged (ragd); p. pr. & vb. n. Ragging (-ging).]

To become tattered. [Obs.]


© Webster 1913

Rag, v. t.


To break (ore) into lumps for sorting.


To cut or dress roughly, as a grindstone.


© Webster 1913

Rag, v. t.

1. (Music)

To play or compose (a piece, melody, etc.) in syncopated time. [Colloq.]


To dance to ragtime music, esp. in some manner considered indecorous. [Colloq. or Slang]


© Webster 1913

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