A piece of fun, a practical joke. The Scotch say of a man who
indulges in intoxication, “He goes the rig.” The same word is
applied in Scotland to a certain portion or division of a field. A
wanton used to be called a rig. (French, se rigoler, to
He little thought when he set out
Of running such a rig.
Cowper: John Gilpin.
To dress; whence rigged out, to rig oneself, to rig a ship, well-rigged, etc. (Anglo-Saxon, wrigan, to
dress; hraegl, a garment.)
“Jack was rigged out in his gold and silver lace, with a feather in
his cap.” —L'Estrange.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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