riffraff


Also found in: Thesaurus, Idioms, Wikipedia.

riff·raff

(rĭf′răf′)
n.
1. People regarded as disreputable or worthless.
2. Rubbish; trash.

[Late Middle English riffe raffe, from Middle English rif and raf, everything, one and all, rubbish, rabble, ultimately (if the expression was not coined in Middle English from elements of French origin and then borrowed by Middle French) from Middle French and Anglo-Norman rifraf, rif et raf, altogether, as in emporter rif et raf, to take away everything, probably a reduplicated formation from Middle French rifler, to plunder (from Old French to brush up against, scratch; see rifle2) and Middle French rafer, to remove or make off with forcefully (from Old French, of Germanic origin; akin to Middle Dutch rapen, to gather, collect, and Middle High German raffen, to snatch, rip off).]

riffraff

(ˈrɪfˌræf)
n (sometimes functioning as plural)
1. worthless people, esp collectively; rabble
2. dialect worthless rubbish
[C15 rif and raf, from Old French rif et raf; related to rifler to plunder, and rafle a sweeping up; see rifle2, raffle]

riff•raff

(ˈrɪfˌræf)

n.
1. disreputable people.
2. the lowest classes; rabble.
3. trash; rubbish.
[1425–75; late Middle English rif and raf every particle, things of small value < Old French rif et raf]

riffraff

- Rif/riff, "spoil, strip," and raf, "carry off," combined as rif et raf in French, then went to English as riff and raff, "everything, every scrap," and then riffraff.
See also related terms for scrap.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.riffraff - disparaging terms for the common people
common people, folk, folks - people in general (often used in the plural); "they're just country folk"; "folks around here drink moonshine"; "the common people determine the group character and preserve its customs from one generation to the next"
scum, trash - worthless people

riffraff

noun
A group of persons regarded as the lowest class:
Slang: scum.
Idioms: scum of the earth, tag and rag, the great unwashed.
Translations

riffraff

nPöbel m, → Gesindel nt

riffraff

[ˈrɪfˌræf] ngentaglia, canaglia
References in classic literature ?
All the riffraff of the kingdom seemed to be comprehended in it; and all drunk at that.
He scoffed at them as adventures, mountebanks, sideshow riffraff, dime museum freaks; he assailed their showy titles with measureless derision; he said they were back-alley barbers disguised as nobilities, peanut peddlers masquerading as gentlemen, organ-grinders bereft of their brother monkey.
He would entertain there the factor of Taiohae, captains of wandering traders, and all the best of the South Pacific riffraff.
There was a club in those days in Papeete, where the pearlers, traders, captains, and riffraff of South Sea adventurers forgathered.
Security issues, by which I take to mean the riffraff that do seem to like "lingering" on the mall (are they "mall-lingerers?
It is high time these overpaid riffraff took a walk.
Most dramatically, the British left "Marg bar Engelees" (Death to the English) scrawled just above the official portrait of Queen Elizabeth, suggesting the British desired to paint the attackers as tasteless riffraff for the official visitors in the embassy.
I believe that the VA ABC agents assumed he was riffraff from a nearby Black neighborhood," Allen said.
Obama also wants to phase out Guantanamo Bay, which he considers a black mark on western civilization, yet his antipodean ally has set up a few offshore detention camps on Christmas Island, Nauru and Papua New Guinea at the cost of billions, just to keep the riffraff out.
The event was organised by riffraff, a Teesside club night which has been running for 11 years with its regular home now at Middlesbrough's Medicine Bar, on Corporation Road.
The crowd said that Washington sponsored the resolution with such riffraff as the European Union, Japan and the (President) Park Geun-hye group in South Korea.
It also created a satirical opposition website with the tagline "Keep the riffraff out of OUR elections.