Definition of ragga in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈraɡə/


[mass noun]
A style of dance music originating in Jamaica and derived from reggae, in which a DJ improvises lyrics over a sampled or electronic backing track.
Example sentences
  • The trio's music is indeed firmly rooted in the rhythms of house music although it incorporates ragga, reggae, dance hall, rap and contemporary R&B.
  • Yet, their early releases remained surprisingly conservative considering the angle adopted by the pair, sticking to hip-hop, ragga and dancehall a tad too closely for comfort.
  • But the rest of the record is pretty good too, shifting wildly between bluesy rap, dancefloor ragga, punk guitar, dubbed-out ska and spacey ambience.


1990s: from ragamuffin, because of the style of clothing worn by its followers.

  • rag from Middle English:

    A Scandinavian word for ‘tufted’ probably lies behind rag. In lose your rag (early 20th century) ‘to lose your temper’, rag is probably an old slang term for the tongue—the phrase was originally get your rag out. This sense of rag may well be behind the student rag or prank, found from the early 19th century, and the dated verb meaning ‘to tease, play a joke on’. From rags to riches describes someone's rise from a state of extreme poverty to great wealth, as in a fairytale like Cinderella. The concept is ancient, but the phrase was not recorded until the late 19th century, when a play called From Rags to Riches was mentioned in a US newspaper. A group of people regarded as disreputable or undesirable may be described as ragtag and bobtail. Bobtail (early 17th century) was an established term for a horse or dog with a docked tail, but rag and tag (LME of unknown origin) were separate words conveying the same meaning of ‘tattered or ragged clothes’. Putting them together gives you the literal sense of ‘people in ragged clothes together with their dogs and horses’. In one traditional folk song a lady leaves her house, land, and ‘new-wedded lord’ to run away with ‘the raggle-taggle gypsies’. Raggle-taggle (late 19th century) here is an elaboration of ragtag. Similarly ragamuffin is probably an elaboration of rag. The word is found once c.1400 as the name of a devil, but then not until 1586. The 1990s term ragga for a style of dance music is taken from ragamuffin, because of the style of clothing worn by its fans. Rug (mid 16th century), once a name for a type of coarse woollen cloth, is probably from the same root. The sense ‘small carpet’ dates from the early 19th century. So too is rugged (Middle English). ‘Shaggy’ was an early sense of rugged as was ‘rough-coated’ (in descriptions of horses).

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