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

  • n. One who makes a living scavenging rags and other refuse.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A person who scavenges rags and other refuse for a living

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. One who gets a living by picking up rags and refuse things in the streets.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. One who goes about to collect rags, bones, and other waste articles of some little value, from streets, ashpits, dunghills, etc.
  • n. A machine for tearing and pulling to shreds rags, yarns, hosiery, old carpet, and other waste, to reduce them to cotton or wool staple; a shoddy-machine.

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

  • n. an unskilled person who picks up rags from trash cans and public dumps as a means of livelihood


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • Possible death mask of Shakespeare found in ragpicker’s shop.

    Off to Class « So Many Books

  • The ragpicker's basket is the hyphen between rags and paper, and the ragpicker is the hyphen between the beggar and the philosopher.

    The Memoirs of Victor Hugo

  • Since then, his wife, a ragpicker, found two other broken models as she scoured the garbage dump, and he paid to have them repaired.

    India: Toilets Are Scarce, And Highly Desirable

  • The hair of their heads and faces grew long and shaggy, while their garments would have disgusted a ragpicker.

    In a Far Country

  • Floods in Orissa, a ragpicker on a beach, celebrations for the Prime Minister's birthday and more.

    India in Pictures

  • Left, a ragpicker walked through garbage in search of recyclable material at a municipal waste dump near the eastern Indian city of Siliguri.

    India's Stunted Growth

  • But what if the artist were to involve the locals, auction off the works and donate the proceeds back to the ragpicker community?

    'Waste Land,' Documentary on Brooklyn Artist and Rio's Garbage Pickers (VIDEO)

  • And what he told them will make you safer, because you look more like a thirteen-year-old ragpicker than a fifteen-year-old nobleman.

    Crown of Earth

  • Since the appropriated voice of the king's subject is clearly that of the ragpicker, who in playing the part of the beneficent king "swears solemnly that he will make his people happy," the entire passage becomes a different kind of dramatization of "the wine talking."

    Economies of Excess in Brillat-Savarin, Balzac, and Baudelaire

  • Baudelaire's initial call for the "equal treatment" of wine seeks to reverse the condition of neglect to which it is consigned in the Physiology of Taste, a condition it shares with the ragpicker-king of "Le Vin des chiffoniers," obviously, but also with Hoffman and

    Economies of Excess in Brillat-Savarin, Balzac, and Baudelaire


Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • From the examples:

    “The ragpicker's basket is the hyphen between rags and paper, and the ragpicker is the hyphen between the beggar and the philosopher.”

    --The Memoirs of Victor Hugo

    May 7, 2012

  • Closest I have is "Bad Guys."

    September 2, 2008

  • You mean like bindlestiff, magpie, vulture, scrounger, clochard? Nope. No lists here.

    September 2, 2008

  • Thinking out loud, do we have any bums, tramps and scavengers lists?

    September 2, 2008