Ramshackle – Ransacked

Ramshackle – meaning ‘in a state of severe disrepair.’

It was originally ‘ramshackled’ (1670) and was an alteration of the word ‘ransackled’ – the alteration is likely thanks to the Scottish dialect. ‘Ransackled’ is the past participle of the word ‘ransack’ and it’s easy to see how these words relate. ‘Ransack’ is a word from the 13th century which originally came from the old Norse word ’rannsaka’  combing ‘rann’ meaning ‘house’, and ‘saka’ meaning ‘to search’.

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