from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun Popular music of Jamaican origin having elements of Calypso and rhythm and blues, usually with an accent placed on the offbeat.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun music A form of music originating in Jamaica and associated with Rastafarianism, featuring a heavy bass line, percussive rhythm guitar on the offbeat, often with close vocal harmonies.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun popular music originating in the West Indies; repetitive bass riffs and regular chords played on the off beat by a guitar


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Jamaican English, ultimately from rege-rege, ragged clothing, probably from rag.]


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  • Toot's Hibbert from Toots and the Maytals claims to have come up with the word.

    "There's a word we used to use in Jamaica called 'streggae'. If a girl is walking and the guys look at her and say 'Man, she's streggae' it means she don't dress well, she look raggedy. The girls would say that about the men too. This one morning me and my two friends were playing and I said, 'OK man, let's do the reggay.' It was just something that came out of my mouth."

    January 29, 2008