tatterdemalion love


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

  • n. A person wearing ragged or tattered clothing; a ragamuffin.
  • adj. Ragged; tattered.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Tattered.
  • n. A person with tattered clothing; a pauper.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A ragged fellow; a ragamuffin.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A ragged fellow.

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

  • n. a dirty shabbily clothed urchin
  • adj. worn to shreds; or wearing torn or ragged clothing
  • adj. in deplorable condition


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

Probably tattered + -demalion, of unknown meaning.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

The first part of the word is tatter; the origin of the second part is unclear. First attested circa 1608.


  • The exact origin of "tatterdemalion" is uncertain, but it's probably connected to either the noun "tatter" ( "a torn scrap or shred") or the adjective "tattered"

    Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day

  • I envisioned traps, snares, pits, poisons, even the construction of some kind of tatterdemalion designed to terrify beavers.

    LJWorld.com stories: News

  • Within half a dozen years of the first appearance of "tatterdemalion," it came to be used as an adjective to describe anything or anyone ragged or disreputable.

    Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day

  • We do know that "tatterdemalion" has been used in print since the 1600s.

    Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day

  • s, the male maid of the Grammer-Hodge m nage, who is madly funny and has the best legs in the show; and the eight-piece orchestra, which sounds just like the kind of tatterdemalion band you'd hear in a French strip joint.

    Size Matters

  • But its tatterdemalion presence relieved her, and her face jerked up scarlet.

    CHAPTER 25

  • And everyone's evaluations of me as a deLintian tatterdemalion impish fey girl, and the whole libido-faerie thing SJ and I were giggling about recently, and ...


  • But that a tatterdemalion out of the night should invade the sanctity of her kitchen-kingdom and delay dinner while she set a place for him in the warmest corner, was a matter of such moment that the Sunflower went to see.

    Local Color

  • Sprawled out on the hatch were five or six men, among them Larry, the tatterdemalion who had called him "old stiff" earlier in the afternoon.


  • Mr. Davies disapproves of the fevered effusions in Robert J. Casey's "The Lost Kingdom of Burgundy," published in 1928, with passages such as: "The kingdom lives because its motley kings, tatterdemalion warriors, guitar playing swashbucklers and mace wielding choristers have refused to remain in their moldy tombs."

    Sovereignty and the Pitiless Passage of Time


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  • Uff, don't hold back, James.

    September 17, 2008

  • "Florry Talbot, a blond feeble goosefat whore in a tatterdemalion gown of mildewed strawberry ..." Joyce, Ulysses, 15

    January 1, 2008