A bit of a rip, is he?

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<< --- A bit of a rip, is he? --- >>

Can somebody tell me how to understand this sentence? - It's a question about a man who is in the army, first world war...
I saw it in subtitles "Parade's End" part 3
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  • Beryl from Northallerton

    Senior Member
    British English
    Please share with us something of the surrounding context.

    You may summarise what you think is going on. You may quote up to four lines of the text. It's usually better to do both. :)


    " -Do you hear from your boy much?
    -Which one?
    - No, anyway.
    -Christopher. A bit of a rip, is he?"

    There isn't anything "ripped" from him. And I'm wondering what else could it means..
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    Senior Member
    English - England
    rip n. OED
    A disreputable, dissolute, or immoral man; a rake. Also in weakened use as a term of abuse (also old rip).

    1781 H. L. Thrale Diary 10 Jan. in Thraliana (1942) I. 477 Sad Rips we say of bad Horses, paltry Fellows—or anything that's worthless.
    1990 H. Engel Dead & Buried (1991) xv. 132 ‘Where is that old rip?’ a deep, radio announcer's voice shouted. ‘Where is that useless reprobate?’
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