rag-doll


rag-doll

noun

  1. a stuffed doll, especially of cloth.
n.

child’s plaything, 1776 (from 1757 as “a dressed-up woman”), from rag (n.1) + doll (n.). Rag-baby attested from 1798. Shakespeare has babe of clowts (i.e. “clouts”), 1590s.

A limp, ineffectual person, as in You won’t get a decision from her; she’s a rag doll when it comes to making up her mind. This expression transfers the limpness of a soft doll made from scraps of cloth to human behavior. [Mid-1800s]

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