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I did something stupid yesterday. "What a ruggit", I said to myself, meaning a stupid person. It occurred to me I hadn't heard the word for a while, so I looked it up, and found this source here

Someone a little mentally ambivalent - i.e. 'simple.

But I noted the etymology given

(Ruggits was the local 'special' school)

and I don't think it's right. I remember hearing the word in the mid-seventies, and the explanation I heard then was the same (a 10-year-old etymologist!), but I can't find any trace of a school with that name and don't believe it exists. Also, the source notes it as a south-western English term, and I was living in the south-east of England at the time; a school can't be 'local' to both areas.

A possibility is that it is related to the Manx ruggit, new-born, but that seems a little farfetched. Or perhaps a corruption of rugrat.

So, can anyone shed any light on the matter? Does anyone know why a ruggit is so called?

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The articulation described (which is clearly an attempt to mimic a supposed or attributed speech defect--just try it) suggests that the first syllable of the underlying word could begin with d,t,r,dr or tr and end with or k, with a, o or u as the vowel. The only thing I found in a quick search was "rocket" for "idiot" in Glaswegian slang; but you'll be the best source for the local vernacular of your childhood. –  StoneyB Sep 12 '12 at 14:16
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Being ambivalent means you're simple? I don't know how I feel about that. –  donothingsuccessfully Sep 12 '12 at 16:57
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2 Answers 2

There's a Scots word ruggy meaning 'clumsy in dress, loutish in appearance...loose, insecure, ramshackle ...untidy in dress... "Hair as ruggy's a collie's tail"' (selected from OED entry). Not sure how much of this applies to you (or your question) but it's the closest I could find.

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Looking at Google, I very quickly found:

pt. pp. ruggit n. A bargain which takes unfair advantage of the seller. An unreasonably high profit.

This is from an online Scots dictionary, so it fits in with the context mentioned in the question.

Also from a Scots dictionary:

RUGGIE, n. Also ruggy; rookie (Marw.). An undersized cod

What do you think about this? Using the same dictionary to look up 'Rug'

  1. To break off (of) or tear away (a part of a body) from its normal position; to pull away (a garment or appurtenance). Freq., to rug (the) hare (of the head).
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Please don't add meta information, such as comments, into questions. –  simchona Sep 14 '12 at 21:39
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Let me reiterate: answers are not for conversations with yourself. –  simchona Sep 14 '12 at 21:43
    
I have to add new bits as soon as they are deleted. –  Robin Michael Sep 14 '12 at 21:54
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