A ruffian is a bully, someone who is violent toward others. Maybe they had a bad childhood, or perhaps they like the sound of people in pain. No matter where they come from, ruffians are best avoided.

  • Pronunciation: /'rʌfɪən/
  • English description: a cruel and brutal fellow
  • Synonyms: bully
  • Chinese Translation:  歹徒(dai3 tu2)
  • Spanish Translation: el rufián
  • ORIGIN: Soccer fans have a reputation for being ruffians. Sure, some are sensitive poetry-reading types, but the ones that get the most attention scream obscenities, break things, and fight each other. Ruffian comes from a Germanic word that literally translates as “scabbiness,” and perhaps ruffians are covered in scabs from all the fights they start. Sometimes a ruffian is a person involved in crime, however, the word is always used to describe someone who’s a cruel, violent jerk.


  • Supporters say that more recording will improve the conduct of both the police and the ruffians they encounter.
  • Sometime in that decade, some ruffians cut the unicorn horn off and stole it.

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