Cassidese Glossary – Ragged

For some time now, some of my on-line friends have advised me to provide a version of CassidySlangScam without the invective aimed at Cassidy and his supporters. In response to that advice, I am working on providing a glossary of the terms in Cassidy’s ludicrous book How The Irish Invented Slang with a short, simple and business-like explanation of why Cassidy’s version is wrong.

Daniel Cassidy, in his work of etymological fantasy, How The Irish Invented Slang, claimed that ragtime music was sometimes known as ragged music in the early days of its development in the 1890s. This seems to be true.

However, while Cassidy derives ragtime from the Irish ráig, he derives ragged music from a different but related (and obscure) word, ráigíocht, which means wandering, gadding about or vagrancy.

It is hard to understand how this could be a convincing derivation for ragged. It is just a random word which happens to sound a little similar to the English. Cassidy makes no attempt to establish or prove any connection.

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