Online Encyclopedia

RUFFIAN (Fr. ruffian, It. ruffiano)

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V23, Page 819 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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RUFFIAN (Fr. ruffian, It. ruffiano), a brutal, violent person, a swaggering, low bully. The etymology is obscure, but the word has been connected with " ruffier," a bully, swaggerer, one who "ruffles" (M. Du. roffeln, to pander). An early derivation, quoted in Du Cange, derives it from Lat. rufus, red, as the hair of the mereirices, with whom the ruffian were generally associated, was red or gold, as contrasted with the black hair of sober matrons.
End of Article: RUFFIAN (Fr. ruffian, It. ruffiano)
FABRIZIO RUFFO (1744-1827)

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