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Related to riffing: vamping
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Undesirable, disreputable, or vulgar people, often used in a condescending manner. I wouldn't be seen in a place like that, there's a lot of riffraff that hang out around there.


an impolite way of describing people from a low social class, especially people who behave badly We don't want drug addicts and other riff-raff living near us.


1. n. a short, repeated line of music played by a particular performer. Jim just sat there and forgot his riff.
2. n. a digression while speaking. (From sense 1) If she didn’t make so many riffs while she spoke, we could understand her better.


1. mod. alcohol or drug intoxicated. I can’t keep getting riffed every night like this.
2. and rift mod. fired; released from employment. (From rif, “reduction in force.” A dismissal not for cause, but simply to reduce the number of workers.) Most of the sales force was rift last week.
See also: riff
References in periodicals archive ?
This is the Senator's delirious, silent riffing, if you will, or variation, I assume, on "Blessed be the ties that bind.
You could say, as Ralph did, that the form of Invisible Man was symphonic, but in Juneteenth Ellison's musical form is jazz; as Gates notes, you can hear Duke Ellington riffing through the pages.
Apparently riffing on a comment by ur-Nordic chanteuse Bjork ("I thought I could organize freedom.
In his immensely likable, stealthily intelligent new revue ``Dress to Kill,'' Izzard taps a deep vein of Python-esque humor while riffing on every known subject from squirrels' secret anxieties, Easter candy and Charlton Heston, to Steve McQueen's coolness in ``The Great Escape,'' Bill Clinton's sexcapades, Stalin and Pol Pot's crimes against humanity, the reason why all the disciples sat on one side of the table at the Last Supper, and what Neil Armstrong really said when he first stepped on the moon.
Even Bernhard's recent and much publicized course of cabalistic study is of a piece with a trajectory that began with her riffing on the semimystical byways of our collective arcana.
A few of the big guns come through: Dave Matthews tosses in some snaky riffing that puts ``Help Myself'' over the top, old spooky standbys Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds have murderous fun with ``Red Right Hand,'' and the Eels' ``Your Lucky Day in Hell'' is a strong piece of seeping melancholy.
The show's young hosts, Annabelle Gurwitch and Paul Gilmartin, stand over a crowded cooktop, riffing off today's menu creation, Bite Your Tongue Tacos, to complement the movie that's playing, ``Look Who's Talking, Too.
Like jazz musicians, Lee and his collaborators are riffing on a theme; sometimes the riffs are tasty and imaginative, and sometimes they just don't lead anywhere.