also riff-raff, "persons of low degree," late 15c., from earlier rif and raf (Anglo-French rif et raf) "one and all, everybody, every scrap, everything," also "sweepings, refuse" (mid-14c.), from Old French rif et raf, from rifler "to spoil, strip" (see rifle (v.)). Second element from raffler "carry off," related to rafle "plundering," or from raffer "to snatch, to sweep together" (see raffle (n.)). In 15c. collections of terms of association, a group of young men or boys was a raffle of knaves.