I've heard an annoying person referred to as a ragtail and I've found a reference to the word below; however, I'm uncertain of the etymology. I'm curious to know why a ragtail is an annoying person. Any ideas?


2 Answers 2


It appears that 'ragtail' is a term formed from the fusion of the two words of the expression: ragtag and bobtail,

adjective. ['ragteɪl] Chiefly US. L20.

from RAG noun1 + TAIL noun1, perh. infl. by ragtag and bobtail.

It's mainly an adjective with the meaning,

ragtail: disorganized; untidy; disreputable.


It is from the French saying 'trois tondus et un pelé' translated to 'ragtail and bobtail'

tondu m. shaveling, monk; trois tondus et un pelé, ragtail and bobtail -International French-English and English-French

Pelé is a skin.

A shaveling is a tonsured clergyman : priest usually used disparagingly 2. stripling or (not still a boy but not a man)

Both terms are related to an annoyance

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