ragamuffin (n.) mid-14c., from M.E. raggi "ragged" + fanciful ending (or else second element is M.Du. muffe "mitten"). Ragged was used of the devil from c.1300 in reference to "shaggy" appearance. Used by Langland as the name of a demon (Cf. O.Fr. Ragamoffyn, name of a demon in a mystery play); sense of "dirty, disreputable boy" is from 1580s.

Etymology dictionary. 2014.


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