riff raff

riffraff

[rif-raf]
noun
1.
people, or a group of people, regarded as disreputable or worthless: a pack of riffraff.
2.
the lowest classes; rabble: the riffraff of the city.
3.
trash; rubbish.
adjective
4.
worthless, disreputable, or trashy.

Origin:
1425–75; late Middle English rif and raf every particle, things of small value < Old French rif et raf, formed on rifler to spoil (see rifle2), raffler to ravage, snatch away

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World English Dictionary
riffraff (ˈrɪfˌræf)
 
n
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]

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Word Origin & History

riffraff
c.1470, from earlier rif and raf "one and all, every scrap" (1338), from O.Fr. rif et raf, from rifler "to spoil, strip" (see rifle (v.)) and raffler "carry off," related to rafle "plundering" (see raffle).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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