Meaning of ragged regiment in English:

ragged regiment


  • (Originally) a group of beggars; the class of beggars; (later) the group of funereal wax effigies of royalty and nobility kept in Westminster Abbey.

    The deteriorated state of these relics and their garments gave rise to the humorous name.


Early 17th century; earliest use found in Thomas Dekker (c1572–1632), playwright and pamphleteer.