early 14c., ruffelen, "to disturb the smoothness or order of," a word of obscure origin. Similar forms are found in Scandinavian (such as Old Norse hrufla "to scratch") and Low German (ruffelen "to wrinkle, curl;" Middle Low German ruffen "to fornicate"), but the exact relation and origin of them is uncertain. Also compare Middle English ruffelen "be at odds with, quarrel, dispute."
The meaning "disarrange" (hair or feathers) is recorded from late 15c.; the sense of "annoy, vex, distract" is from 1650s. Related: Ruffled; ruffling.
1776, "throw into confusion, disturb the regular order of," from French déranger, from Old French desrengier "disarrange, throw into disorder," from des- "do the opposite of" (see dis-) + Old French rengier (Modern French ranger) "to put into line," from reng "line, row," from Frankish *hring or some other Germanic source, from Proto-Germanic *hringaz "circle, ring, something curved," from nasalized form of PIE root *sker- (2) "to turn, bend." Mental sense "disorder or unsettle the mind of" is by c. 1790.
also dishevelled, early 15c., "without dressed hair," parallel form of dishevel, dischevele (adj.) "bare-headed," late 14c., from Old French deschevele "bare-headed, with shaven head," past-participle adjective from descheveler "to disarrange the hair," from des- "apart" (see dis-) + chevel "hair," from Latin capillus "hair" (see capillary).
Of the hair itself, "hanging loose and throw about in disorder, having a disordered or neglected appearance," from mid-15c. General sense of "with disordered dress" is from c. 1600.
1540s, "arrange or stow (cargo) in a ship," from the noun rummage "act of arranging cargo in a ship" (1520s), a shortening of French arrumage "arrangement of cargo," from arrumer "to stow goods in the hold of a ship," from a- "to" + -rumer, which is probably from Germanic (compare Old Norse rum "compartment in a ship," Old High German rum "space," Old English rum; see room (n.)). Or else the whole word is from English room (n.) + -age.
The meaning "hunt through or search closely" (the hold of a ship)" is by 1610s; that of "disarrange, disorder, rout out by searching" (reversing the original sense) is from 1590s. Related: Rummaged; rummaging. The noun in the sense of "an act of rummaging, an overhauling search" is by 1753. A rummage sale (1803) originally was a sale at docks of unclaimed goods.