tatterdemalion

Use the word tatterdemalion for anyone who's dressed in messy, ragged clothes. You may want to call your brother a tatterdemalion if he shows up for Thanksgiving dinner wearing a dirty sweatshirt and his favorite ripped jeans.

A slightly more common word for a tatterdemalion is a ragamuffin. As an adjective, tatterdemalion means "unkempt" or "shoddy," so go ahead and ask your brother, "Why are you wearing that tatterdemalion outfit?" While the tatter part of the word is fairly clear (a tatterdemalion's clothing is in tatters), the ending is a mystery. There may be a connection to the Frenchde maillot, or "shirt."

Definitions of tatterdemalion
1

n a dirty shabbily clothed urchin

Synonyms:
ragamuffin
Type of:
urchin
a poor and often mischievous city child

adj in deplorable condition

Synonyms:
bedraggled, broken-down, derelict, dilapidated, ramshackle, tumble-down
damaged
harmed or injured or spoiled

adj worn to shreds; or wearing torn or ragged clothing

“a tatterdemalion prince”
Synonyms:
tattered
worn
affected by wear; damaged by long use

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