R

rabble: Disorderly crowd, low class people (1553). From Middle English “rabeln”=pack of animals (c.1300).

racism: Intolerance of other races, oft marked by belief in one’s own racial superiority. From Italian “razza”=people + Greek “ism”=belief.

raconteur: Person skilled in telling anecdotes. Old French “racontier” < “re-“=again + “conter”=to tell + “-ier”=profession/job.

ragamuffin: Scruffy, unkempt, ill-dressed child. From Middle English “raggi”=ragged + “muffin”=?mitten. “Ragamoffin” is a c.1300 demon.

rapacity: Quality of being given to grasping, taking, aggressively greedy. From Latin “rapare”=to seize < ?Greek “ereptomenos”=feeding on.

raucous: Unpleasantly loud and harsh. From Latin “ravis”=hoarseness + “-cus”=suffix forming an adjective

recluse: Person who lives in isolation, away from people. From Latin “reclusus” < “re-“=back + “claudere”=to shut.

regress: To go back to an earlier and worse state. From Latin “regressus”=a return < “re-“=back + “gradi”=to step or walk.

reimburse: To pay money back to someone. From Middle French “rembourser” < “re”=back + “imburse” < “im”=into + “bursa”=purse.

relax: Rest; do no work. From Middle French “relaxer”=to pardon sins < Latin “relaxare”=”re”=back + “laxare”=to purge < “laxus”=loose.

reminiscence: The recall from memory of, usually, fond experiences. From Latin “re”-prefix=again + “minisci”=call to mind, remember.

repertoire: Full range of skills, aptitudes or devices used in a specific field. Latin “repertorium”=catalog” < “reperire”=to find, discover.

requite: To repay or make appropriate return for a favor. From Middle French “re”=back or return + “quitter”=to release (from debt).

retch: Make an effort to vomit. From Old English “hroeken”=to spit or hawk. Similar to Old Norse “hroekja”=to spit.

reticent: reluctant to draw attention to oneself. From Latin “reticere”=to keep silent < “re”=intensifier + “tacere”=to be silent

rhabdomancy: searching for water/minerals beneath the ground with a forked twig or pendulum. From Greek “rhabdos”=rod + “mantis”=prophet.

rich: Having an abundance of wealth, worth, or value. From Old English “rice”=powerful/rich.

rich: Having lots of material things or money, more than other people. From Old English “rice”=wealthy or powerful.

riddle: A puzzling question or statement, sometimes used as entertainment. From Old English “radel”+conjecture or opinion.

ridiculous: Laughable or silly. From Latin “ridiculus” < “ridere”=to laugh + “-ous”=suffix meaning “full of” or “characterized by.”

riparian: Of, on, or relating to the banks of a natural course of water such as a river. From Latin “ripa”-shore/bank.

roulette: Game of chance where people bet on where a ball will end up in a numbered wheel. From Old French “roelete”=little wheel.

rugby: Outdoor game played by two teams with an oval ball that you kick or carry. From English school in “Rugby” where the game originated.

ruin: State of complete loss or destruction. From Old English “ruyne, ruine” < Latin “ruera”=fall.

rum: Alcoholic drink from fermented sugar or other cane plants. From c. 17th “rumbullion” or “rombostion.”

rural: Of the countryside. From Old French “rurale” < Latin “ruralis”=of the countryside < “ruris”=open land or country.

ruse: A trick, dodge, strategy. From Old French “ruser”=drive back in battle. Ultimately possibly from Latin “recusare”=to refuse.

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