"Rip-roaring" as in a rip-roaring success, I mean.
Baffled of Harold's Cross
Sounds rude to me
Loud? If rip-roaring is, apparently, noisy, lively, and exciting.
OED just gives it as originally US, first use 1834, "riproarious" slightly earlier:
1830 Boston Courier 2 Sept., If they are ‘rambunctious’ at the prospect, they will be ‘rip-roarious’ when they get a taste.
interesting that the Courier obviously thought it was slang then, hence the ''.
A "rip" in early 19th slang is a dissolute, disreputable, immoral man - not unlike a rake. So I wonder if it comes from there.
Perhaps in combination with "roaring" as in "the roaring boys"?
Riproaring itself crops up in lots of contexts. OED again:
1834 W. A. Caruthers Kentuckian in N.Y. I. 62 There was a rip-roaring sight of slight o' hand and tumbling work there.
1845 J. J. Hooper Some Adventures Simon Suggs x. 127 And I seed the biggest, longest, rip-roarenest, blackest, scaliest..allegator.
1884 E. W. Nye Baled Hay 231 He thought..Kirke was there..to give Laramie the grandest, riproaringest tempest of mirth that she had ever experienced.
1906 N.Y. Evening Post 8 Sept. (Sat. Suppl.) 1 When he was called upon to address the conference he got a rip-roaring welcome.
1909 ‘O. Henry’ Roads of Destiny xxii. 368, I'm feeling just like having one more rip-roaring razoo with you for the sake of old times.
1923 Daily Mail 28 Feb. 10 (advt.) It's a rip-roaring, red-blooded yarn that no man or woman will be able to read unmoved.
1950 C. Fry Venus Observed ii. ii. 70 Well, here's a riproaring gauntlet to be run By a couple of God's children.
1979 Guardian 14 Apr. 9/7 Rip-roaring commercial [film] successes.
2000 H. Simpson Hey Yeah Right (2001) 136 She..noticed a rip-roaring bevy of boys at the next pub, and decided to turn off the main road.
|A "rip" in early 19th slang is a dissolute, disreputable, immoral man - not unlike a rake.|
Oh, so it _is_ rude as it describes the intensity of the moment when a man displaying indiscipline with regard to sensuous pleasures roars, presumably with immoral pleasure (as he removes leaves from the garden).
On a related subject, isn't it funny how slang moves around the garden tools;
I was once told to fork off, knaves used to be referred to as rakes and only recently hoes have - oh, no, that's a bit different isn't it?
|And I seed the biggest, longest, rip-roarenest, blackest, scaliest..allegator.|
I'm convinced by that as a definition, but it's a stretch to get from there to a rip-roaring success, unless the task at hand was to rip a person to shreds!
If you said, "The show was a roaring success" it's clearer - or even "an uproarious success".
So "rip-roaring success" is a case of a transferred epithet, from the way the audience behave in the theatre, to the nature of the success itself?
So it goes:
"rip" - disreputable/drunken man
"roaring" - what a group of them might do, creating an uproar, the words coming together naturally because of the alliteration
"rip-roaring" - a "rip-roaring group" makes a "rip-roaring party" ... and it gradually widens to anything which is both energetic and noisy...
You wouldn't call a perfectly-pitched, agonisingly tragic performance of Hamlet rip-roaring, even if the sell-out audience were gripped, weeping, every night for years... But you would a storming, sell-out production of Les Mis, say...
This all reminds me of the national anthem in The Once and Future King: Send her uproarious, happy and glorious... I must look up the whole thing.
The allegator is wonderful, isn't it. Pure Huck Finn...
Kinda Huck Finn meets Rumpole of the Bailey;
"The allegator alleges allegory rip-roars in the darkest depths of the demons demesne."