Posted by ESC on May 25, 2004
In Reply to: I got *ragged on* badly posted by Rube on May 25, 2004
: To anyone out there,
: Could anyone tell me if I have this right?
: I got ragged on =I got told off???
: ": ragged on suggests to me a constant state of being 'picked on' -- one individual verbally demeaning or scolding another on a regular basis. It is a conscious effort by one individual to diminish another, not an accidental or incidental negative remark."
: I have to disagree. One can be "ragged on" on an ad hoc basis, as in "Everybody and his brother been ragging on me today."
: Actually, I have never heard the phrase used in the sense you describe in your first sentence.
: The origin of the slang term necessarily implies a non-constant nature to the ragging. Granted a certain regularity is a part of the original usage, there is certainly no exclusivity.
: Which brings me to the fact that your two sentences appear to be unrelated. "...scolding another on a regular basis. It is a conscious effort..." One can make a conscious effort to demean someone verbally (one almost always does) and never speak to them again.
I looked up "ragged" on Merriam-Webster and one meaning was to tease -- to disturb or annoy by persistent irritating or provoking especially in a petty or mischievous way. Like older boys ragging on a younger boy. Nagging with a teasing or dominating tinge.
Isn't this kind of along the lines of Mob talk - "Oh, we're just busting his b*lls." Figuratively not literally.