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  1. bianca's Avatar
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    #1

    run ragged

    the kids run me ragged - is it a British or an American id. expression, or both?
    Last edited by bianca; 17-Jul-2007 at 16:09.


    • Join Date: Jun 2007
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    #2

    Re: run ragged

    I've both used it and heard it here in the states, if that helps. I wouldn't say it's extremely common, though.

  2. Casiopea's Avatar

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    #3

    Re: run ragged

    It's appears to be in British English as well:

    BBC NEWS | Wales | North East Wales | Desperate midwives 'run ragged'
    Last Updated: Tuesday, 28 March 2006, 11:52 GMT 12:52 UK ... Wales hospital is reviewing its procedures after warnings midwives are being "run ragged".

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    #4

    Re: run ragged

    It's definitely BrE. Do you 'lose your rag' in AE?

  3. bianca's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: run ragged

    would you mind explaining what 'to lose one's rag' means?


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    #6

    Re: run ragged

    I've never heard "lose your rag," but to be/go "on the rag" is vulgar slang for menstruation. But come to think of it, I haven't heard that one in years.

    I believe BE uses "rag" to mean "tease," doesn't it? ("Stop ragging him about his terrrible haircut; he feels bad enough about it already.") Or is that old-fashioned?

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    #7

    Re: run ragged

    I think Tdol said: do you lose your rags in AmE just to show that the expression in very British. Rag is very popular in BE: For example local rag is a newspaper. I usually walk about in rags and tatters and read the local rag. That's why I feel like a rag.


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    #8

    Re: run ragged

    We use rag to mean a newspaper, too. I believe long ago there were people who made a living buying rags from households and selling them for paper manufacturers; my grandmother remembered bartering in her girlhood with the local "ragman" for various bits and pieces, including a little framed religious picture I still have. Nowadays I'm sure tons of cast-off clothes end up in landfill.

  4. bianca's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: run ragged

    That was very interesting, Delmobile.

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    #10

    Re: run ragged

    Quote Originally Posted by Delmobile View Post
    I've never heard "lose your rag," but to be/go "on the rag" is vulgar slang for menstruation. But come to think of it, I haven't heard that one in years.

    I believe BE uses "rag" to mean "tease," doesn't it? ("Stop ragging him about his terrrible haircut; he feels bad enough about it already.") Or is that old-fashioned?
    If you lose your rag, you lose your temper. 'On the rag exists here too, though I haven't heard it in a long time. It can mean 'tease' in BrE, but it is slightly old-fashioned.

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