rake (n.1)

"toothed tool for drawing or scraping things together," Old English raca "rake," earlier ræce, from Proto-Germanic *rak- "gather, heap up" (source also of Old Norse reka "spade, shovel," Old High German rehho, German Rechen "a rake," Gothic rikan "to heap up, collect"), from PIE root *reg- "move in a straight line," with derivatives meaning "to direct in a straight line," thus "to lead, rule" (source also of Greek oregein "to reach, stretch out," Latin regere "direct, rule; keep straight, guide"). The implement is so called perhaps via its action, or via the notion of "implement with straight pieces of wood" [Watkins].

rake (n.2)

"debauchee, libertine; idle, dissolute person; one who goes about in search of vicious pleasure," 1650s, shortening of rakehell. Hogarth's "Rake's Progress" engravings were published in 1735. Generally of men but also used by 1712 of women of similar character.

rake (v.)

mid-13c., raken, "clear (rubbish, grass, etc.) by raking; gather (grain) by raking," from rake (n.1), or from a lost Old English verb *racian, or from a similar Scandinavian source (compare Old Norse raka, Swedish raka, Danish rage "rake"). Of gunfire "to enfilade," from 1630s. Related: Raked; raking. To rake in money or something like it is from 1580s.

updated on April 12, 2021