Rugged Rascal

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Senior Member
Hello. there's a tongue-twister which goes like this :

Around the rocks the rugged rascal ran.

I also found some other sources that say

Around the rocks the ragged rascal ran.

so can you please tell me what's the meaning of rugged rascal? does it mean a low-person [<something like that]?
and I've got a question about the words "around" and "ran" here. does ran means he's running from something/someone here? and does around means "by" here? I mean can we say "that low/pathetic man was running from them by the rocks" ?

Thank you.
  • pob14

    Senior Member
    American English
    I wouldn't spend too much time trying to glean meaning from tongue twisters; they're created for their sound only. That said, someone who is "rugged" is typically someone rough, down-to-earth, who looks like he could cut down a tree with his bare hands. :D And a rascal is generally someone who breaks rules, but more in a playful way than a destructive one.

    Around probably literally means around: not over them, not under them, but around them.


    Senior Member
    English - British
    but is your rascal rugged or ragged
    If he kept on running round the rocks, he would have run himself ragged. I much prefer the rhythm of the two "rounds", but I'm just telling it like I was taught it. I was taught it by a large and rugged headmaster who was a great believer in not spoiling the child through sparing the rod. We weren't given much choice in the matter of paying attention.


    English England
    Doesn't anybody know this as a kind of riddle? Round and round the rugged rocks the ragged rascal ran.. now, how many R's are there in that now tell me if you can!? All said with rolled RRRR's to make it sound an impossible counting task.. the answer of course being 0.. zero.. there are no R's in THAT! Chortle!
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