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Riff-raff

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The offscouring of society, or rather, “refuse and sweepings.” Rief is Anglo-Saxon, and means a rag; Raff is also Anglo-Saxon, and means sweepings. (Danish, rips-raps.) The French have the expressionAvoir rifle et rafle,” meaning to have everything; whence radoux (one who has everything), and the phrase “Il nʹa laissé ni rif ni raf” (he has left nothing behind him).

“I have neither ryff nor ruff [rag to cover me nor roof over my head].”—Sharp: Coventry Myst., p. 224.


“Ilka man agayne his gud he gaffe

That he had tane with ryfe and raffe.”


Quoted by Halliwell in his Archaic Dictionary.

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Entry taken from Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, edited by the Rev. E. Cobham Brewer, LL.D. and revised in 1895.

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Ride for a Fall (To)
Ride up Holborn Hill (To)
Rider
Riderhood (Rogue)
Ridicule (Father of)
Riding [of Yorkshire]
Ridolphus (in Jerusalem Delivered)
Ridotto (Italian)
Rienzi (Nicolò Gabrini)
Rif of Rifie (French)
Riff-raff
Rifle
Rift in the Lute (A)
Rig
Rig-Marie
Rigadoon
Rigdum Funnidos
RightFoot
Right Foot Foremost
Right Hand
Right as a Trivet