Where does the word “Rabble” come from and What does Rabble mean in Latin?

Every generation has them, people who lose their tempers quickly, people who make more noise than they do sense, and the Romans had a name for them.

The Greeks did, too, but right now it’s the Romans who concern us.

The Latin term meaning “to rave, to rage” is rabo, and the petty advocate who pleaded his cause with more temper than temperateness was a rabula.

Although the derivation is not clear, it seems probable that this term became applied to any noisy person and finally to a noisy collection of people, a mob, which is the sense of our modern word, rabble.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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