c.1310, probably from O.N. rogg
"shaggy tuft," earlier raggw-,
or possibly from O.Dan. rag
), or a back-formation from ragged
(c.1300), which is from O.N. raggaðr
"shaggy," via O.E. raggig
"rag-like." It also may represent an unrecorded O.E. cognate of O.N. rogg.
As an insulting term for "newspaper, magazine" it dates from 1734; slang for "tampon, sanitary napkin" is attested from 1930s. Rags
"personal clothing" is from 1855, Amer.Eng. Rags-to-riches
"rise from poverty to wealth" is attested from 1947. Ragtop
"convertible car" is from 1955. Raghead,
insulting term for "South Asian or Middle Eastern person," first attested 1921.