Ruffe to Running Footman

Ruffe (1 syl.). A game at cards, now called slamm; also playing a trump, when one cannot follow suit.

“A swaggerer is one that plays at ruffre, from whence he took the denomination of ruffyn.”- J. H. (Gent.) Satirical Epigrams, 1619.

Ruffian Hall That part of West Smithfield which is now the horse-market, where “tryals of skill were plaid by ordinary ruffianly people with sword and buckler.” (Blount, p. 562.)

Rufus (The Red). William II. of England. (1056, 1087-1100.)
   Otho II. of Germany; also called The Bloody. (955, 973-983.)
   Gilbert de Clare, Earl of Gloucester, son-in-law of Edward I. (Slain 1313.)

Ruggiero (See Rogero .)

Rukenaw (Dame). The ape's wife in the tale of Reynard the Fox. The word means noisy insolence.

Rule (St.) or St. Regulus, a monk of Patrae in Achaia, is the real saint of Scotland. He was the first to colonise its metropolitan see, and to convert the inhabitants (370). The name Killrule (Cella Reguli) perpetuates this fact. St. Andrew superseded the Achaean.

“But I have solemn vows to pay. ...
To far St. Andrew's bound,
Within the ocean-cave to pray,
Where good St. Rule his holy lay
Sung to the billow's sound.”
Sir Walter Scott: Marmion, i. 20.

Rule, Britannia Words by Thomson, author of The Seasons; music by Dr. Arne. It first appeared in a masque entitled Alfred, in which the name of David Mallett is associated with that of James Thomson, and some think he was the real author of this “political hymn.” (August 1, 1740.)

Rule Nisi. A “rule” is an order from one of the superior courts, and a “rule nisi” is such an order “to show cause.” That is, the rule is to be held absolute unless the party to whom it applies can “show cause” why it should not be so.

Rule of Thumb (The). A rough guess-work measure. Measuring lengths by the thumb. In some places the heat required in brewing is determined by dipping the thumb into the vat.
   Rule of thumb. In the legend of Knockmany Fin, Mr. Coul says:-

“ `That baste Cucullin [is coming]. ... for my thumb tells me so.' To which his wife replies: `Well, my Cully, don't be cast down. ... Maybe I'll bring you better out of this scrape than ever you could bring yourself by your rule of thumb [referring to the pricking of the thumb].' ”- W. B. Yeats: Fairy Tales of the Irish Peasantry, p. 270.
   Again, p. 274, Fin knew by the “pricking of his thumb” that the giant Cucullin would arrive at two o'clock. In these cases the “rule of thumb” refers to the prognostics of the thumb, referred to by the witches of Macheth. “By the pricking of my thumbs, something evil this way comes.”

Rule of the Road (The).

“The rule of the road's an anomaly quite,
In riding or driving along:
If you go to the left you are sure to go right,
If you go to the right you go wrong.”
   It is not so in France.

Rule the Roost (To). The cock rules which of the hens is to have the honour of roosting nearest him. (See under Roast .)

“Geate you nowe up into your pulpittes like bragginge cocks on the rowst, flappe your winges and crowe out aloude.”- Jewell.

Rum Queer, quaint, old-fashioned. This word was first applied to Roman Catholic priests, and subsequently to other clergymen. Thus Swift speaks of “a rabble of tenants and rusty dull rums” (country parsons). As these “rusty dull rums” were old-fashioned and quaint, a “rum fellow” came to signify one as odd as a “rusty dull rum.”
    Professor De Morgan thought that the most probable derivation was from booksellers

  By PanEris using Melati.

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