A blustering cheat. Like bully, it is sometimes used
without any offensive meaning. Thus the Host, in The Merry Wives of
Windsor, addresses Sir John Falstaff, Ford, and Page, etc., as
bully-rook—“How now, my bully-rook?” equal to “my fine
A bully rake is “one who fights for fighting's sake.” To
bully-rag is to intimidate; bully-ragging is abusive
intimidation. According to Halliwell, a rag is a scold, and
hence a “ragging” means a scolding. Connected with rage.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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