Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
ragamuffin (plural ragamuffins)
- A dirty, shabbily-clothed child; an urchin.
- A breed of domestic cat which is an offshoot from the Ragdoll.
- Currently this word is slang, often (but not always) used either for anachronistic effect or as dialogue in historical fiction.
|1597||1868 1877 1882||1906 1916|
|ME «||15th c.||16th c.||17th c.||18th c.||19th c.||20th c.||21st c.|
- 1597 — William Shakespeare, 1 Hen IV v 3
- I have led my ragamuffins where they are peppered: there's not three of my hundred and fifty left alive; and they are for the town's end, to beg during life. (Note: Quartos 1-5 "rag of Muffins" Quartos 6-8 "rag of Muffians")
- 1868 — Louisa May Alcott, Little Women, Ch. 47
- “But may I inquire how you intend to support the establishment? If all the pupils are little ragamuffins, I’m afraid your crop won’t be profitable in a worldly sense, Mr. Bhaer.”
- 1877 — Anna Sewell, Black Beauty
- "They called her a little `blue' ragamuffin, father," said Harry, who ran in looking very angry; "but I have given it to them; they won't insult my sister again.
- 1882 — Mark Twain, The Prince and the Pauper, Ch. 12
- 'Yes, he is mine—I took him, a homeless little ragamuffin, but I saw what was in him, and I said his name would be heard some day—behold him, observe him—was I right?'
- 1906, Upton Sinclair, The Jungle, Chapter 18
- After walking a ways, Jurgis met a little ragamuffin whom he hailed: "Hey, sonny!"
- 1916 — John Buchan, Greenmantle, Ch. 15
- He had found out the house of Frau von Einem without much trouble, and had performed with his ragamuffins in the servants' quarters.